Are you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to OSHA compliance? If so, this helpful checklist can help you organize a compliance audit of your practice. Meet with your office manager or designated OSHA supervisor and discuss the following items.
• Check the existing OSHA manual for hepatitis B vaccination records. Only personnel who are involved with patient care need to be vaccinated.
• Check your infection control practices. Is personal protective equipment available for your staff? Are staffers complying with proper hand washing practices and trained to recognize infectious diseases?
• Monitor for sterilization. Is there a designated area for processing of dirty equipment? Is there an area for designated clean processing? Is the expiration of sterilized equipment clearly defined? Check for spore testing and documentation of loads. Have the staff demonstrate the proper process for sterilization.
What About Hazardous Waste And Chemical Spills?
• Monitor your practice’s hazardous waste management (if applicable). Make sure red sharps disposal containers are available where appropriate and ensure they are out of the reach of children.
• Confirm the availability of a spill kit and ensure staffers know how to use it. Check for the correct eye wash kit. Staffers should be able to use this with one hand. The kit also needs to be flushed daily.
• Ask about lab coats. Any person dealing with hazardous materials must have long sleeve coveralls. These uniforms must be laundered professionally and paid for by the office.
Other Essential Safety Items
• Ask to see the MSD sheets. If none are available, make sure your OSHA supervisor acquires them from the suppliers of the chemicals or from the general supplies representative.
• Check the first aid kit. Although we have medical supplies, the first aid kit should be easily accessible to all staff in case of an emergency.
• Ask to see the written disaster plan. There should also be a posted evacuation plan. Make sure exit signs and stairs are properly marked. Also ensure that the exit signs are properly illuminated.
• Ask about the safety training program, how often it is given and if it is documented.
• Make sure the emergency phone list is posted. Check to make sure other posters are also posted.
Check Fire Safety And Housekeeping Issues
• Check for fire extinguishers. Note when they were last checked. Check for the presence of smoke detectors and/or a sprinkler system. Make sure there are no fire hazards in storage areas. Determine when the practice had its last fire drill.
• Ensure all chairs and office furniture are sound and the carpet has no worn areas, holes or loose seams. Check to see if all electrical cables are taped down and out of the way. Clutter and boxes should not be under desks or in the walkways.
• Discuss any immediate concerns with your in-house OSHA supervisor. If you have more specific questions, you may want to check with a local OSHA consultant.