OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 BOS 2003-009
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Connecticut's Nursing Home and Personal Care Facilities
WALLINGFORD, Conn. -- Improving worker safety and health in nursing home and personal care facilities throughout Connecticut is the object of a new strategic partnership agreement announced today by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Connecticut Healthcare Workers' Compensation Trust, an employer mutual association of Connecticut health care employers.
Under the partnership, nursing home and personal care facilities that are members of the Trust will be able to partner with OSHA in a voluntary, cooperative program that encourages them to effectively reduce on-the-job injuries and illnesses through more active and involved safety and health management.
To participate, qualifying employers agree to a series of requirements, including a comprehensive written safety program, documented safety and health audits and active employee and management involvement in safety and health activities. They will also annually provide OSHA with illness and injury data, verification of safety audits, workers compensation rating information and detailed information on accident investigations, including causes and preventative actions, to determine if they are eligible to continue as a partner.
In return, partners may receive focused rather than comprehensive OSHA inspections if they are randomly selected for an inspection under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on nursing homes and personal care facilities. Those inspection would be limited to the four major causes of injuries in these facilities: ergonomic injuries from patient handling, exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material, tuberculosis exposure and slips, trips and falls. Participants will be eligible for reduced penalties but they will not be exempt from inspections prompted by accidents, complaints or referrals.
OSHA's Hartford and Bridgeport area offices will conduct outreach activities to introduce and promote the partnership among eligible employers. These activities will include information and training sessions, compiling and providing an inventory of resources to help participants in developing safety and health programs and seeking successful member safety and health programs to serve as models for other facilities.
Signing the agreement were Thomas Guilmartin, OSHA's Hartford area director; Robert Kowalski, OSHA's Bridgeport area director; and Diane M. Ritucci, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust.
Additional information may be obtained from the compliance assistance specialists in OSHA's Hartford (860-240-3152) and Bridgeport (203-579-5581) area offices or from the Conn. Healthcare Workers Compensation Trust at 203-678-0161.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202)693-7755.
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