The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced that it will crack down on hospitals and nursing homes for workplace hazards that aren’t covered by formal rules.
Inspections will include potential hazards related to staff musculoskeletal disorders caused by patient handling, in addition to dangers from blood-borne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis, and slips, trips and falls. Any violations would likely be cited under the general-duty clause of the OSHA Act. That allows the agency to penalize employers for failing to implement industryrecognized safeguards for which there are no official standards or rules. Experts say it’s been “politically impossible” to create the rules.