Creating a culture of safety
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February 28, 2020
By John Palmer
If you’ve been in healthcare safety for any length of time, you’ve been lectured at before. OSHA wants you to keep your clinic safe. You’ve been told several times by this publication to watch out for slips, trips, and falls, reduce your needlestick risks, and make sure you are compliant with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) requirements for hazardous chemicals.
And, if you’ve stuck around long enough, you’ve probably also been advised to establish a culture of safety at your clinic.
“Well, we’re already safe at our clinic,” you might say. “We’ve never had an inspector come in and give us a violation.”
However, blind faith is the wrong approach to clinic safety. If an inspector comes by tomorrow, there’s always a chance you’ll be dinged for something big, even if you’ve escaped previous inspections unscathed. Even worse, your employees might see something dangerous—and out of fear of losing their job, they won’t tell you about it. Instead, they’ll call OSHA, knowing they’ll be safe even after the inspection places thousands of dollars of fines on the facility.
The better alternative for keeping a medical clinic safe is to create an environment where everyone looks out for each other and holds each other accountable for safety. Including you.