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NIOSH Network Occupational Safety and Health Network Now Tracks Sharps Injuries & Blood/Body Fluid Exposures

Mar 28, 2017

NIOSH's has added two modules to the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) that allow for the tracking of sharps incidents and blood and body fluid exposures among healthcare workers. Healthcare facilities use OHSN voluntarily to share injury data (e.g., date of injury or illness, location of incident, description of illness, days away from work, other data collected in OSHA logs) among healthcare personnel to:

  1. help identify job titles at highest risk for injury in their own facility;
  2. develop interventions for the safety and health of hospital staff;
  3. objectively measure impact over time.

Other modules track incidences of slips, trips, and falls, patient handling injuries and workplace violence. According to NIOSH, 20 facilities nationwide currently provide data to this web-based portal. "The OHSN system allows participants to determine the root cause for each incident, and identify trends to design relevant interventions and measure their impact," NIOSH says, adding that the system analyzes the data and presents it visually with easy-to-read charts.

To build a larger sample size of healthcare facilities using the OHSN system, NIOSH encourages healthcare facilities to enroll in the OHSN. 

“A commitment to a culture of safety that emphasizes continuous monitoring and improvement benefits not only the worker, but the employer as well,” says NIOSH Director John Howard.

Originally published March 28, 2017.


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