Occupational Safety and Health Administration: *REQUIRED* Coronavirus Control and Prevention Standards
In response to the current national emergency presented by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has recommended steps that can be taken to help protect healthcare and other workers from COVID-19 infection and/or exposure dependent upon the specific line of work.
OSHA has further recommended that employers implement appropriate infection control practices based upon an in-depth hazard assessment, using effective combinations of engineering and administrative factors, safe workplace practices, a well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for infection control and the unnecessary exposure of workers to infectious diseases including, but not limited to COVID-19. OSHA has also established certain standards that require employers to properly train employees on strategies to prevent infection and exposure to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Erudite Nursing Institute™ has established the nation's first and only (as of the date of this article) COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response certification course that follows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's guidelines for the prevention and control of the Coronavirus Disease.*
Per OSHA's requirements and applicable federal law and policy, employers must:
Train all workers with reasonably anticipated occupational exposure to COVID-19 (as described in this document) about the sources of exposure to the virus, the hazards associated with that exposure, and appropriate workplace protocols in place to prevent or reduce the likelihood of exposure. Training should include information about how to isolate individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, and how to report possible cases. Training must be offered during scheduled work times and at no cost to the employee. (Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html#health)
This means essentially all healthcare workers administering patient care--including, but not limited to Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, Phlebotomists, Certified Nurse Assistants, and Patient Care Technicians-- just to name a few, must all timely receive the required training to ensure compliance with OSHA standards and applicable laws. (See 29 CFR 1910.132, 29 CFR 1910.133, 29 CFR 1910.138, and 29 CFR 1910.134)
Eligible medical personnel wishing to further their education on important health matters, including coronavirus disease 2019, may contact Erudite Nursing Institute™ for information on available online accelerated nursing programs, which are being updated to incorporate applicable public health policy concerning the current COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, employers are strongly encouraged to provide the Emergency Preparedness and Response COVID-19 certification course to their workers in order to ensure federal compliance with applicable law and policies as set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other appropriate government authorities.
*Although made in accordance with OSHA standards and nationally accredited, OSHA has not endorsed the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response certification course
Note: The foregoing article and information contained therein may be copyrighted and may not be reproduced in part or entirety without advance written permission. For permissions or editorial corrections, contact: Ms. Kelsey Hanna, khanna@EruditeNursing.education. All information is provided for informational purposes and deemed to be correct at the time of publication, but may change with or without notice; no guarantees are made as to accuracy and all liability is hereby released as to the same.