OSHA director encourages hospital commitment to safety culture

“When hospitals commit to safe workplaces, everybody wins,” Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said this week in a blog posted on the Department of Labor’s Work in Progress website.

In the post on improving hospital safety culture, he describes how Cincinnati Children’s Hospital applied high-reliability management principles to reduce serious patient safety events by 80 percent and lost workdays by 83 percent within three years of implementing a more comprehensive, systematic approach.

In 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 248,100 work-related injuries and illnesses, nearly 58,000 of which caused employees to miss work. Visit www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals for resources on protecting healthcare workers.