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ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and
The Joint Commission (TJC) and Joint Commission Resources (JCR)

September 29, 2011


  1. Alliance Background

  2. Date Signed

    July 27, 2004

    Dates Renewed

    November 8, 2006
    January 14, 2009

    Evaluation Period

    July 27, 2010 – July 26, 2011

    Overview

    The OSHA and The Joint Commission/Joint Commission Resources Alliance focuses on providing health and safety workplaces for health care workers, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in health care and addressing emergency preparedness, ergonomics, and workplace violence issues.

    Implementation Team Members

    OSHA:

    Sheila Arbury
    Office of Occupational Health Nursing, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management (DTSEM)
    Patricia Bray
    Office of Occupational Medicine, DTSEM
    Sharon Carr
    Office of Biological Hazards, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
    Eric Lahaie
    Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs

    JCR:

    Jean Courtney
    Deputy Executive Officer, JCR
    Cathy Hinckley
    Executive Director, Publications, JCR
    Leslie J. LaBelle
    Associate Director, National Conferences, JCR
    Kristine Miller
    Executive Editor, Environment of Care News, JCR
    Pam Steinbach
    Director, Education, JCR

    *Pam Steinbach served on the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Implementation Team until May 31, 2011.

  3. Implementation Team Meetings

  4. September 1, 2010
    Implementation Team Meeting
    February 14, 2011
    Implementation Team Meeting
    June 20, 2011
    Implementation Team Meeting

    In addition to these formal meetings, the Alliance Implementation Team members from both groups maintained regular contact throughout the reporting period to monitor the Alliance’s progress and results.

  5. Results

    1. Events and Products

    2. Outreach and Communication

      • Work with OSHA to provide expertise in developing information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to provide expertise in developing ways of communicating such information (e.g. print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools and OSHA’s and The Joint Commission/JCR’s Web sites) to employers and employees in the industry.

      Products

      Environment of Care® News (EOCN)

      Through the Alliance, OSHA and TJC/JCR are continuing to write an “OSHA & Worker Safety” column relating to health care worker safety and health in JCR’s newsletter, Environment of Care® News (EOCN). In addition, Patricia Bray serves on the EOCN editorial board. JCR published the following news articles as Alliance products:

      • Nobody Likes It Hot: Preventing Heat Stress in At-Risk Workers
        Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, JCR developed an article on heat related illnesses, including signs and symptoms of various illnesses and prevention and treatment tactics. The article was published in the June 2011 edition, volume 14, issue 6, pages 6-8 of the EOCN.


      • The Hazard Communication Standard in Health Care: Labeling, MSDS, and Other Aspects of Dealing with Chemicals
        Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, JCR developed an article on hazard communication within the health care industry and how the proposed revisions to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard impacts current practices. The article was published in the March 2011 edition, volume 14, issue 3, pages 6-7 and 11 of the EOCN.


      • Putting the Brakes on Health Care "Road Rage" Recognizing and Opposing Disruptive Behavior to Help Maintain Safety and Security
        Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, JCR developed an article on workplace violence within the healthcare industry, including a specific focus on workplace bullying. The article was published in the January 2011 edition volume 13, issue 9, pages 9-8 of the EOCN.


      • Protecting the Protectors: Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders
        Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, JCR developed an article on protecting emergency medical services responders from hazardous releases. The article was published in the August 2010 edition, volume 13, issue 8, pages 6-7 of the EOCN.


      • Underserved Health Care Workers: Lack of Coverage for Frontline Workers Can Compromise Patient Safety
        Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, JCR developed an article highlighting the dangers associated with workers serving in the healthcare industry with little or no access to their own medical coverage. The article was published in the December 2010 edition, volume 13, issue 12, pages 8-9 of the EOCN.


      TJC/JCR Alliance-Related Web Page

      Through the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, TJC/JCR developed the Alliance-related Web page to provide information on the Alliance agreement and related documents on the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site. The page also contains links to the Environment of Care® News articles that were produced through the Alliance during this reporting period.

      OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Web Page

      OSHA is continuing to update the OSHA and The Joint Commission/Joint Commission Resources Alliance Web page posted on the Agency Web site. The page includes information on Alliance events, activities, milestones and successes, and links to the Alliance agreement and related documents.

      • Speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA’s or The Joint Commission/JCR conferences, local meetings, or other events such as the JCR Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference.

        During the reporting period, the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Implementation Team have not completed work on programs or projects to address this goal.


      • Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding The Joint Commission/JCR best practices or effective approaches and publicize results through outreach by The Joint Commission/JCR and through OSHA or The Joint Commission/JCR developed materials, training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures (or any other applicable forum).

      TJC Standards Access

      Through the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance, TJC/JCR provides OSHA with access to the TJC Standards for Hospitals, Laboratory Ambulatory, Behavioral, Long-term and Home Care. The standards allow for comparisons to infection prevention and control standards from the different types of healthcare institutions.

      • Work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects related to health care worker safety that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.

        During the reporting period, the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Implementation Team have not completed work on programs or projects to address this goal.


      Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health Goal

      • Convene or participate in forums, round table discussions, or stakeholder meetings on health care worker safety related issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.

        During the reporting period, the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Implementation Team have not completed work on programs or projects to address this goal.


    3. Executive Summary

    4. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA and TJC/JCR are working together to update and develop new resources related to reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in healthcare and addressing emergency preparedness issues. The positive relationship that TJC/JCR has developed over the past seven years led to the generation of projects and programs that the team is currently working on or has recently completed.

      OSHA continues to serve on the editorial board of the JCR publication, Environment of Care® News, and works jointly with TJC/JCR on developing an “OSHA & Worker Safety” standing column for the newsletter. The articles developed during this reporting period are linked to both the TJC/JCR Alliance Web page and the OSHA Web pages.

      In addition, TJC/JCR developed an Alliance-related Web page. The page provides information on the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance, the Alliance agreement, and related documents linked from the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site.

      Finally, TJC/JCR is sharing their expertise with OSHA by providing access to the TJC Standards for Hospitals, Laboratory Ambulatory, Behavioral, Long-term and Home Care. These standards allow OSHA to compare aspects that are key elements of effective infection prevention programs to various governmental and private institutions. They also allow comparisons to infection prevention and control standards from the different types of healthcare institutions

    5. Alliance Program Reach

    6. Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained
      OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site 158
      June 2011, “Nobody Likes It Hot: Preventing Heat Stress in At-Risk Workers”

      Environment of Care® News
      1,380
      March 2011, “The Hazard Communication Standard in Health Care: Labeling, MSDS, and Other Aspects of Dealing with Chemicals”

      Environment of Care® News
      1,380
      January 2011, “Putting the Brakes on Health Care "Road Rage" Recognizing and Opposing Disruptive Behavior to Help Maintain Safety and Security”

      Environment of Care® News
      1,380
      December 2010, “Underserved Health Care Workers: Lack of Coverage for Frontline Workers Can Compromise Patient Safety”

      Environment of Care® News
      1,380
      August 2010, “Protecting the Protectors: Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders”

      Environment of Care® News
      1,380
      Total 7,058
  6. Upcoming Milestones

  7. During the upcoming year the OSHA and TJC/JCR Alliance Implementation Team is planning a number of activities to provide health care workers and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect employees’ health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in health care and addressing emergency preparedness issues.

    For example, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR will continue to jointly compose three articles for the standing column, “OSHA & Worker Safety, in JCR’s publication, Environment of Care® News. In addition, the Agency and TJC/JCR are committed to maintaining and updating their Web pages with information and resources developed through the Alliance Program. Lastly, the OSHA and TJC/JCR Implementation Team are developing plans to promote the Alliance through a speaking and exhibiting opportunity during the 2012 Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference in April 2012.

    Report prepared by: Morgan Seuberling, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, September 29, 2011.

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