At the end of next month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will launch their online Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers. The survey will collect data from a random sample of International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) members concerning “health and safety practices and types of exposure controls used by healthcare workers who handle or come in contact with hazardous chemical agents,” specifically aerosolized medications, antineoplastic agents, chemical sterilants, high level disinfectants, surgical smoke, and anesthetic gases. NIOSH plans to release a report to all IAHCSMM members detailing aggregate data from all survey respondents.
We join NIOSH in encouraging all IAHCSMM members who are asked to complete the survey to do so, as the data provided will be invaluable in determining the best practices to keep employees safe from exposure to chemical agents in the workplace. The more data that is shared, the more educated in chemical safety employers and employees alike will become. As we’ve discussed on this blog before, education is the single most important component of employee safety. Surveys like this one play a key role in increasing awareness of the potential dangers of chemical agents, as well as the best ways to prevent exposure.
For more information on NIOSH and the work they are doing to keep healthcare workers safe, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/