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On December 15, 2006, OSHA and the AORN formed an Alliance to provide AORN's members, and others including perioperative healthcare providers and small businesses (e.g., ambulatory surgery centers), with information, guidance, and access to training resources to protect employees' health and safety; particularly to reduce and prevent exposure to bloodborne diseases, smoke plume generated from the use of electrosurgery units (ESU)/lasers, and to promote laser safety. The Alliance was renewed on April 1, 2009.
Based on discussions regarding the future of the Alliance, OSHA and AORN agreed to conclude the agreement as of November 13, 2012. A number of successes have resulted from OSHA and AORN working together to meet the Alliance goals. For example:
- Through the Alliance, AORN developed the Sharps Safety Checklist for Health Care Facilities providing guidance for personnel to ensure compliance with the sharps safety requirements in OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. The checklist includes, but is not limited to, exposure control, safety handling procedures, injury logs, and management of sharps devices.
- Through the Alliance, AORN developed the Laser Safety Checklist,
- Through the OSHA and AORN Alliance, AORN developed two slide presentations entitled "Blunt-Tip Suture Needles to Decrease Percutaneous Injuries" and "Sharps Safety in the Operating Room; Creating an Injury Prevention Program." The presentations provide healthcare workers with references for developing and implementing an Operating Room Sharps Safety Program.
- Through the OSHA and AORN Alliance, AORN also annually supported the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
Report Prepared by: Morgan Seuberling, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, November 20, 2012.