OSHA is the acronym for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a United States government agency whose mission is to “promote safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” The website provides information on workplace health and safety rules and regulations.
Everyone in a workplace must take workplace health and safety training. This includes workers, managers, and supervisors. OSHA provides free training that educates workers about workplace safety. Workers can also take voluntary training programs that meet federal workplace standards with courses provided outside the workplace.
This post will focus on the workplace health and safety training online offered by OSHA for free to healthcare professionals.
Free Online OSHA Training for Healthcare Professionals
The workplace health and safety of many workers in the healthcare industry is at greater risk than that of most other employees. This may be especially true for nurses, whose workplace injuries are often related to manual tasks, such as lifting patients. Over time, these types of workplace injuries can lead to all types of problems, including chronic pain.
To protect both their own health and the health of their patients, nurses need all the workplace health and safety training online they can get.
OSHA is required by law to provide free training that educates workers about workplace safety. OSHA can also suggest voluntary training programs that meet federal workplace standards with courses provided outside the workplace. Both kinds of training are available online. To find these offerings, go to the OSHA Training Institute website.
OSHA offers both workplace health and safety courses that are required and voluntary workplace health and safety courses. In addition to workplace health and safety courses, OSHA also offers on-demand workplace health and safety training online. To find these courses, go to the OSHA website. Click on “Online Tools,” and enter your ZIP code in the box marked “Location”. This will ensure that you see workplace information relevant to your area. Then, select ODOA from the list of options provided; click on “Launch Tool,” and follow the instructions to create a login ID and password for this resource.
1. Safe Workplace Practices
There are many workplace health and safety practices that healthcare professionals should be aware of. Each workplace should have a Health and Safety Representative that is involved in upkeep of these practices. Often this representative will go through Health and Safety Representative Training to ensure they (as well as the workplace) is up to date with all health and safety practices, whether they are new or existing. Some practices are specific to the healthcare industry, while others are general workplace health and safety practices that should be followed in any workplace.
Some general workplace health and safety practices that healthcare professionals should be aware of include:
- Always wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, goggles, and masks
- Using safe lifting techniques, such as bending at the knees instead of the waist
- Handling hazardous materials properly, including using spill kits when necessary
- Reporting any workplace injuries to a manager or supervisor
- Reporting any workplace safety hazards
2. Violence Prevention in Healthcare Settings
Violence prevention in healthcare settings is a critical issue that all healthcare professionals should be aware of. Workplace violence can take many different forms, including physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and robbery. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, or intimidation occurring in the workplace.”
There are several steps that healthcare professionals can take to help prevent workplace violence. Some of these steps include:
- Reporting any incidents of workplace violence to a manager or supervisor
- Refusing to work with patients who exhibit violent behavior
- Training all members of the healthcare team on how to deal with potentially violent situations
- Keeping workplace doors closed and locked when not in use
- Always keeping workplace telephones within reach
3. Emergency Situations
Emergency situations, including workplace emergencies, can take many different forms. Some workplace emergencies affect only one healthcare professional or a small group of people, while others can present dangers for entire hospitals or office buildings. Regardless of the size of the workplace emergency, all healthcare professionals should be prepared to act quickly and effectively if an emergency does occur. The best way to prepare for workplace emergencies is to learn what actions will be taken if an emergency occurs at your workplace during training sessions that are conducted by managers or supervisors. This information may also be available on posters displayed around the workplace.
The Final Word
The On-Demand Observable Activity (ODOA) only displays results from OSHA standards and workplace rules, so make sure there are no gaps in your search before viewing these workplace safety training materials. If necessary, consult with an expert to find all relevant workplace safety standards and rules or workplace health and safety training online for nurses or other healthcare professionals.