Occupational Health and Safety Essay

Pages: 3 (1148 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Occupational Health and Safety

The nursing profession is prone to occupational health and safety issues. From biological infections to harmful chemicals, physically straining patient care routines to experiencing emotionally draining events, nurses are exposed to a wide variety of occupational hazards that make them vulnerable to serious injuries and diseases. Studies report a very high percentage of musculoskeletal disorders among nurses. Studies have also reported high incidences of latex allergies and needle stick injuries among nurses leading to dermatis, asthma and acquiring other dangerous infections. [Timmins et.al, (2008)] In Australia, the OHS act 2000 provides the framework for organizations to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. The legislation includes severe penalties for lack of safety provisions and compensation for affected workers. Workplace injuries not only affect nurses who have to undergo rehabilitation but also result in more burden for the already strained and overstretched nursing force. A brief overview of the OHS provisions pertaining to the nursing and health care industry, with a discussion of how nurses can avoid the environmental hazards by the creative use of ergonomic principles would provide more insight into the topic.

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TOPIC: Essay on Occupational Health and Safety Assignment

The OHS act 2000 provides the comprehensive legal framework for overseeing that workplace safety and health regulations are properly implemented. The law requires that employers must ensure the safety and health of all the employees. From the Health care organization's perspective this implies that the working conditions for nurses should meet the requirements of the stipulated standards. The act also necessitates the establishment of an OHS committee and selection of an OHS representative from within the staff. [NSW, (2009)] There are minor state specific amendments to the OHS act. The Workcover authority of NSW is in charge of supervising the enforcement of the OHS regulations in the hospitals and health service centers in the region. Similarly SafeWork SA is in charge of workplace safety regulations in South Australia and Worksafe, a department of commerce under the Western Australian government, regulates organizational safety issues in Western Australia. The OHS also requires employees to report any instances or workplace practices that could compromise the employer's implementation of OHS regulations such as unsafe or faulty equipments, injury or any other potential hazards.

Environmental Hazards Mitigation (Nursing Role)

Nurses, being primary care providers are affected by a variety of occupational health risks including biological, chemical and mechanical hazards in the course of their routine care delivery. Not only the safety of the nurses but also the safety of the patients depends upon nurses' awareness of the workplace hazards and how effectively they deal with these safety risks. This calls for active participation from the nursing staff, the OHS committee and the hospital management. As healthcare workers directly involved in caregiving, Nurses can help identify, eliminate and prevent potential environmental hazards. Nurses can be proactive and report any hazardous situation to the OHS committee and if the issue is still unresolved they can even report the matter to the appropriate safety authority such as Workcover (NSW), Worksafe (WA), Safework SA etc. [NSW Nurses Association (2004)]

Nurses have the responsibility for drug preparation and administration. Avoiding medication errors is important as the results of improper dosage and wrong drug can be potentially fatal. Nurses should keep themselves updated with the latest in pharmacological advancements and should be aware of the safe limits, prescribed dosage, route of administration and potential side effects of the drugs that they administer. They should also be aware… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Occupational Health and Safety.  (2010, September 18).  Retrieved September 18, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/occupational-health-safety/9889

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"Occupational Health and Safety."  Essaytown.com.  September 18, 2010.  Accessed September 18, 2021.