Study Suggests Unsafe Practices Endanger Healthcare Workers and Employees

The Importance of Job Hazard Analysis to Eliminate Unsafe Practices

Taking precautions to practice safety on the job has always been of major importance in the healthcare industry, but it is especially so since the COVID-19 crisis began.  The importance of job hazard analysis shouldn’t be overlooked. In determining whether a workplace environment is safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests doing a job safety analysis (JSA) that identifies the dangers of specific tasks within jobs in order to reduce the risk of injury to workers. Doing a job hazard analysis can help you meet OSHA safety standards and avoid violations, improve communication, aid in training, and prevent unsafe and hazardous conditions that can cause harm and lead to lawsuits. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers could be contaminating themselves and the places in which they work by failing to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and to follow protocol to prevent infections, according to a study from the University of Utah and University of Michigan. Researchers performed 325 observations of healthcare workers over a year and watched employee behavior inside and outside the rooms of patients. Observations showed there were 283 offenses that could trigger a contamination problem or transmission of an infectious agent:
  • There were 102 violations that were determined to be failing to follow the required interaction protocol. Many of the violations pertained to failing to use PPE, including masks, gowns and gloves. Violations were seen when workers interacted with the families of patients, delivered medical supplies to patient rooms and checked equipment.
  • 144 violations were determined to be mistakes in procedure or process. Some of the examples included taking off a gown in an incorrect sequence, touching a gloved hand to an ID badge, or using a gloved hand to collect drugs or supplies from pockets.
  • 37 violations were determined to be an inadvertent responsive behavior, such as using a hand in glove to touch a personal device or one’s face.
The researchers found that there were many reasons for these failures in the healthcare workplace. This suggests there is a need for many strategies to reduce the possibility of infection transmission during medical care. They advise a reconsideration of technology and strategies that include procedures to follow in the patient’s room where PPE is needed. Researchers also observed violations that were related to poorly designed clothes, computer access and room configuration.

Why JSA is Important

There are good reasons why a JSA is important. Doing a JSA can avoid safety failure problems in the healthcare industry as well as in other workplaces where there is potential for spreading infections to workers and other individuals who enter the facility. In today’s workplaces, health safety should be a priority. Failure to use proper procedures to prevent infections that can harm others can lead to severe illness, incapacity, or even death. If you are a healthcare worker, patient, or worker in any industry who has been harmed due to lack of PPE or other safety practices, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses through insurance or a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. At the Mann Law firm, we can help by examining the facts of your individual situation and determining the best way to proceed with getting you a settlement. We offer a free and confidential consultation and there are no fees unless we win a settlement for you, so call us today at (478) 742-3381.

A Job Safety Analysis Focuses on Your Rights as a Patient or Employee

Job safety analyses of healthcare facilities have shown that these institutions can be a terrible breeding ground for infections and germs. The Centers for Disease Control states that every year 648,000 people in the U.S. develop infections in healthcare centers.  It is also estimated that 75,000 people each year die from infections they get at the hospital. When you go to work or enter a medical establishment as a patient, you do not expect to be harmed. It is the responsibility of the healthcare facility to ensure that proper protocol is followed to prevent infections among workers and patients, or it can be held liable. If an infection spreads in a hospital and it affects workers and/or patients, it is possible that the healthcare facility could be sued for medical malpractice. Employees could be entitled to compensation in a worker’s comp claim. Even if the infection was spread by an employee’s failure to follow the rules, it is still possible to hold the healthcare facility responsible for your injuries.

Our Attorneys Understand the Importance of Hazard Analysis

When a healthcare employer fails to follow safety protocols and properly train workers to prevent infections, a workplace can become unsafe for employees. If you are a healthcare worker who contracted a healthcare-associated infection, or if you are a patient who got an infection in a hospital, you should talk to a Georgia worker’s compensation and personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation that includes: Special damages, for your monetary damages, including your:
  • Medical and rehabilitation bills
  • Lost income from being unable to work.
General damages, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. At the Mann Law Firm, we understand the importance of hazard analysis in work injury claims. If you were injured at work, we will fight for maximum compensation for all your losses.  Please contact the Mann Law Firm for a free consultation today at (478) 742-3381 to get started.
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