Safer jobs for healthcare workers is the goal of an extended partnership agreement formed by OSHA and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
The new agreement emphasizes recognizing excellence in worker safety and health among healthcare institutions and encouraging participation in OSHA''s Voluntary Protection Programs.
OSHA and the Joint Commission will also continue developing and delivering joint educational programs.
"This partnership between OSHA and the Joint Commission is a very fruitful alliance," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "It has dramatically expanded OSHA''s reach in the healthcare industry and produced a voluntary performance strategy that has improved worker safety and health throughout the industry."
The two groups have been working together since 1996 to help hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities understand how to meet the requirements of both organizations to provide a safe and healthful environment for workers who care for others.
Both have developed training materials and publications for healthcare facilities and provided specific examples in Joint Commission accreditation manuals to illustrate how compliance with OSHA standards also satisfies Joint Commission standards.
Jeffress and Dr. Dennis S. O''Leary, president of Joint Commission signed the agreement last week at Joint Commission headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 5,000 hospitals and more than 12,000 other healthcare organizations.
by Virginia Sutcliffe