SEP 2017

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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Page 53 of 76

The Letter of the Law When people think of workplace safety, OSHA often comes to mind. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) established standards for all U.S. business- es—including unique regulations for healthcare providers. OSHA standards dictate that all general industry businesses (which includes healthcare) must follow the "General Duty Clause" that states that each employer will furnish each of his employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards that could cause physical harm or death. Some of the key risks that must be mitigated include non-ergonomic equipment or practices, workplace violence and communi- cable disease. OSHA requires employers to provide an OSHA compli- ance manual to all employees as well as ongoing staff training, notes Christopher E. Poole, MBA, an associate of Medical Management Associates. For healthcare facilities, the manual must include an Exposure Control Plan (ECP), including Blood Borne Pathogens (BBP); Hazard Communi- cation (HAZCOM) on hazardous chemicals used or stored in the facility; as well as a Tuberculosis (TB) policy that sets forth guidelines to prevent unreasonable exposure. In ad- dition, employers must keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses. "Failure to maintain OSHA compliance, either willingly or unwillingly, can result in violations, fi nes, and even jail time depending on the breach," says Poole. "The manual covers examples of safety and health compliance and regulatory requirements that should be reviewed and implemented. New employees must undergo OSHA compliance training within 10 days of hire and annually after that. Businesses need to document the training sessions and retain those records for fi ve years." Healthcare facilities also have a personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement. "The employer is required to evaluate the workplace and its processes to determine what type of personal protective equipment is needed to protect employees," says Keith Brown, safety and health consultant at the University of South Florida, SafetyFlorida Consultation Program. These may include eye protec- tion for laser treatments and face masks to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens. BBP regulations also require establishing and maintaining a needle-stick (or sharps) log, in addition to Illness and Injury reporting logs. "If anyone is stuck with a contaminated needle, that incident would need to be tracked through the sharps log," says Brown. Medical practices must also adhere to physical facility standards. These cover safety concerns such as egress (proper number of exits), fi re suppression equipment and carbon monoxide detectors. What if you lease the facility? Still, the practice owner "is responsible for the safety of personnel under the General Duty Clause," says Marc A. Bianco, COO/EVP of technical services at United Alliance Services, a company that pro- vides OSHA and workplace safety consulting and training. "So whether or not you own the building, if you are aware of a hazard in the building and don't take action, you could be cited by OSHA." In the event that OSHA does make a call on your practice, be prepared and be informed. "Other than in cases of imminent danger and fatal accidents, inspections are most commonly triggered by employee complaints," says Poole. If your practice is inspected, he encourages owners to be cooperative and friendly, but do not hesi- tate to ask questions. "If the inspection is due to a complaint, the OSHA of- fi cer must read the complaint before a walk-through of the facility," says Poole. "Although the offi cers can go anywhere they like in the practice and can interview employees, the practice should only show them the area(s) that relate to the complaint. Do not volunteer any information. A clos- ing conference will be conducted to discuss fi ndings and propose steps to remedy the situation." Businesses typically have the opportunity—particularly on the fi rst offense—to take corrective action if a viola- tion is found. If corrective action is not taken, penalties can increase signifi cantly. "Whether or not you own the building, if you are aware of a hazard in the building and don't take action, you could be cited by OSHA." | SEPTEMBER 2017 51

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