OSHA? Oh, Shucks

March 21, 2011

We have good sharps, containers … fire extinguishers, and the major exits are labeled as such. The hand sanitizer dispenser is not above an outlet. Never even occurred to me that stuff is flammable. Do you still want your kids using that?

I had read briefly about OSHA and OSHA requirements when I started up my practice a year and a half ago (Can it really be that long ago?). I take that back. I tried to read briefly about them. Brief is not possible. So I skimmed over some general information, and came to the conclusion that what I had planned would be fine, and that they wouldn't really care about a tiny little solo practice in suburbia. And I crossed my fingers.

Recently, I decided that it would be in the practices best interest if we got some information directly from the source. OK, yes, I came to this epiphany because a flyer came in the mail about some OSHA-sponsored conferences that would be held locally. I sent our front office supervisor. She has been with me since Day 1, and quite honestly was the only one I could let go that day.

She came back with a two-inch binder. We had a staff meeting so she could share the abundance of information she brought back with her.

It seems, for the most part, we are doing pretty well. We have good sharps, containers, "one of the best" according to the slide presentation she sat through. I didn't know that other practices just made their own - take a plastic container and stick the words 'sharps/biohazard' on it. We have fire extinguishers, and the major exits are labeled as such. There is a sign by the bathroom. The hand sanitizer dispenser is not above an outlet. Never even occurred to me that stuff is flammable. Do you still want your kids using that?

There were a couple of things we worked on, and some that still need addressing. We created a formal fire/emergency plan - who evacuates the patients, who evacuates the staff, and who stays until she is sure that everybody is out. Guess who that last one is? I guess that captain has to go down with the ship. We talked about what to do if a patient becomes violent or potentially violent.

There were a lot of other things that were discussed at the conference. Most of which does not pertain to us because we are such a small practice. So, I guess I was right after all.
 

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