Nursing Homes and Personal Care Facilities
Hazards and Solutions
The information below provides a list of the most prevalent hazards in this industry and possible solutions for hazards associated with working in nursing homes and personal care facilities.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Bloodborne Pathogens/Needlesticks
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Workplace Violence
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Chemicals/Hazardous Drugs
Where can I find help evaluating my workplace to identify hazards?
- Compliance Assistance Quick Start. OSHA. By following this step-by-step guide, you can identify many of the major OSHA requirements and guidance materials that may apply to your workplace. Small and new businesses may find Quick Start helpful as an introduction to the compliance assistance resources on OSHA's website.
- Health Care Industry. This module applies to employers and employees in the health care field.
- Anatomy of a Nursing Home with Potential Hazards. OSHA. Shows a typical nursing home floor plan with potential hazards identified.
- Nursing Home. OSHA eTool. Offers a graphical menu to identify hazards and controls in the nursing home industry.
- Beyond Getting Started: A resource guide for Implementing a Safe Patient Handling Program in the Acute Care Setting (PDF*). OSHA and the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) Alliance, (Revised 2011).
The following provide guidelines to help you identify areas in your workplaces where musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) may be a concern. It also offers recommendations for developing procedures to reduce the risks.
- Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Guidelines for Nursing Homes: Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (PDF). OSHA 3182-3R, (2003, Revised March 2009). Provides guidelines that identify and provide recommendations for nursing home employers to help reduce the number and severity of work-related MSDs in their facilities.
- Nursing Home Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). OSHA.
- Hospital. OSHA eTool. Provides modules that assist healthcare workers to recognize hazards associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
- A Back Injury Prevention Guide for Health Care Providers (PDF). Cal/OSHA. Provides general guidelines designed to help prevent staff injury from lifting or moving patients.
- Caring for Caregivers (PDF*). Job Safety & Health Quarterly (JSHQ), (2002). Outlines ways to teach workers how to protect themselves on the job.
- Nursing Home Improves Resident Lifting/Handling Program to Protect Workers From Serious Injury. OSHA, (2015).
- For additional information, see OSHA's Ergonomics Safety and Health Topics Page.
Quick Reference Information
(OSHA Fact Sheets)
The following provide information to help you identify areas in your workplace where needlesticks and Bloodborne pathogens hazards may be a concern. Also, links to tools you can use to come into compliance with the OSHA requirements are included below.
- Hospital. OSHA eTool.
- Revision to OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard - Technical Background and Summary. OSHA, (2001, April). Includes revised information regarding the identification, evaluation, and selection of effective engineering controls, including safer medical devices.
- Frequently Asked Questions. OSHA. Provides some commonly asked questions and answers regarding needlestick hazards and prevention.
- Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis (PDF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 50(RR-11), (2001, June 29). Guidelines for management of occupational exposures to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis.
- What Every Worker Should Know: How to Protect Yourself From Needlestick Injuries. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2000-135, (1997, July).
- For additional information, see OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention Safety and Health Topic Page.
The following provide guidelines to help you evaluate your workplace for exposure to tuberculosis and recommendations for developing procedures to reduce the risks.
- Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Facilities Providing Long-Term Care to the Elderly Recommendations of the Advisory Committee for Elimination of Tuberculosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 39(RR-10);7-20, (1990, July 13). Although this article is dated, it does provide some general information on tuberculosis and the elderly.
- Hospital. OSHA eTool.
- For additional information, see OSHA's Tuberculosis Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers (PDF* | EPUB** | MOBI**). OSHA Publication (OSHA-3148), (2015).
- Hospital. OSHA eTool.
- For additional information, see OSHA's Workplace Violence Safety and Health Topics Page.
Slips, Trips and Falls
The following provide tools to help in your evaluation of slip, trip and fall hazards in your workplace and guidance on preventing falls in nursing homes.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
MRSA infections occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and other healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems.
The following provide tools to help in your evaluation of chemical hazards in your workplace and offer links to recommended solutions.
- Hospital. OSHA eTool.
- Dietary. Assists in identifying possible solutions for exposures to disinfectants and other chemicals found in the dietary department.
- Laundry. Assists in identifying possible solutions for exposures to disinfectants and other chemicals found in the laundry department.
- Engineering (Maintenance). Assists in identifying possible solutions for exposures to disinfectants and other chemicals found in the maintenance department.
- Pharmacy. Assists in recognizing hazards associated with hazardous drugs.
- Hazard Communication. Implement a written program which meets the requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard to provide for worker training, warning labels, and access to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
- OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (1999, January 20).
- For additional information, see OSHA's Hazardous Drugs Safety and Health Topics Page.
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.
All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.
**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.Back to Top