UH Health and Wellness Campaign: Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazardous Chemicals and Drugs Pose Workplace Risks
Health care and long-term care workers face a wide variety of health and safety risks on a daily basis, ranging from needlestick injuries, to back injuries, to on-the-job stress. One of the most serious safety risks for those working in these fields is the exposure to infectious disease and bloodborne pathogens from contact with patients’ bodily fluids. The increased spread of infectious disease and rise in antibiotic resistance worldwide presents a “serious, worldwide threat to public health,” that has the potential of turning once-common infections and injuries into life-threatening epidemics, according to findings from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Equally critical in this industry is the exposure to hazardous drugs and chemicals, which can cause serious illness and death. More than 32 million workers (over 20% of the entire U.S. workforce) are exposed to hazardous chemical products in the workplace, according to OSHA. To avoid contact with these dangerous substances, it’s important for health care and long-term care employers to create proper protocols to help keep employees safe.
To assist our health care and long-term care customers in dealing with whatever risks they face, United Heartland is committed to providing resources to help them stay safe and healthy. The third phase of our 2015 Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness campaign examines bloodborne pathogens as well as hazardous chemicals and drugs with materials including:
- A guide to infectious disease exposures and control practices
- The risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens
- Diseases and organisms to be aware of in health care settings
- Tips on handling sharps and avoiding needlestick injuries
- The risk of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in the workplace
- Details on the various hepatitis viruses, their risks and tips on preventing their spread
We encourage you to visit these pages often and share them with others in your organization. We are committed to working with those in the health and wellness industries and provide information to help them work safer. Additional materials related to other risks and exposures in health care and long-term care settings are also available. We’re confident our health and long-term care wellness campaign is your prescription for injury prevention.
If you know of others who may be interested in receiving updates about our ongoing health and wellness campaign, encourage them to subscribe to our monthly Risk Connection e-blasts here.