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OSHA Trade Release

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Trade News Release
October 3, 2008
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

Updated eTool for healthcare industry helps employees avoid injuries

WASHINGTON -- Employers and employees in the healthcare industry stand to benefit from the new sonography and updated surgical modules featured in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hospital eTool, posted to OSHA's Web site today.

OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. OSHA developed these eTool modules with input from the following Alliance Program participants: Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Association of Occupational Health Professionals, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Laser Institute of America, American Biological Safety Association, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, and the Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources.

"These new and updated modules are examples of the many resources developed through our Alliances that address common hazards in the healthcare industry," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We will continue our mission of providing useful information to ensure employees remain safe and healthy while on the job."

Employees face many occupational safety and health hazards while working in a hospital. OSHA originally developed the Hospital eTool with modules describing common hazards and possible solutions for tasks performed in administration, central supply, clinical services, dietary, emergency, engineering, heliport operations, housekeeping, laboratories, laundry, pharmacy, the intensive care unit and the surgical suite.

The sonography module provides guidance on how sonographers¿medical professionals who use high frequency ultrasound to create diagnostic images¿can reduce their risk of musculoskeletal disorders. The surgical module now features updated information on bloodborne pathogens, waste anesthetic gases, laser safety, and other topics related to workplace safety and health in surgical suites.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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