Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can be surprisingly hazardous places to work. Serious hazards include lifting, transferring, and repositioning patients; violence; needlesticks; and more—all compounded by an unpredictable environment and a culture that sometimes drives caregivers to risk their own safety to help a patient. Costly workplace injuries and illnesses can be prevented, but only if healthcare workers and administrators understand the problem and recognize potential solutions.
With funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ERG helped the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance develop a suite of outreach products, all available on OSHA’s website, to engage and educate hospital administrators, safety managers, and staff regarding workplace safety. These materials include fact sheets, self-assessment tools, case studies, and success stories from leading hospitals across the country. They show how hospitals have developed a proactive “culture of safety,” engaged management and employees, implemented comprehensive safety and health management systems, reduced patient handling injuries, reduced violence and incivility—and ultimately reduced injury costs, improved retention and morale, and enhanced patient safety. ERG researched, wrote, designed, and desktop-published the outreach materials, developing a “Caring for Our Caregivers” brand identity to unite them.