Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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53 August/September 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM Safety Data Sheets Every chemical has a Safety Data Sheet. It is important that the practice have a complete set of SDS's for all onsite chemicals. Start with your hazardous chemical list and then work on collecting sheets for every medication and chemical, whether hazardous or not. SDS's are available from suppliers or from the place of purchase in the case of cleaning supplies (usually the website). Whether you keep printed copies in a binder or store them on a computer, every employee must know how to access them. Safety Personnel Gone are the days of the solo safety officer. Although someone needs to take the lead on employee safety, a safety committee is more appropriate and more effective. Consider building your committee with a representative of each de- partment. A well-rounded commit- tee spreads the workload, leading to more accountability. The functions of the safety commit- tee are to: • Perform regular facility inspections and hazard assessments. • Participate in quarterly incident reviews. • Develop action plans for correcting hazards. • Maintain an SDS library. • Ensure secondary label compliance and maintenance. • Develop training programs and updates. • Institute safety plan updates. Facility and Hazard Assessments Hospital inspections are required to take place annually, when OSHA regulations change, when a facility changes, or following an incident or quarterly trend analysis. Part of the inspection is the hazard assess- ment, which should focus on: • Known or potential hazards in each work area. • Hazards that can be avoided or minimized with personal protective equipment (PPE). Getting Technical columnist Sandy Walsh is a practice management con- sultant, speaker, writer and instructor for Patterson Veterinary University. • PPE limitations. • The use of signs or tags to signal potential hazards or dangers. • Compliance with required OSHA postings and reporting forms (Poster 3165 and forms 300, 300A and 301). When hazards are identified and PPE is required, training on when and how to utilize PPE, and its proper care and maintenance, is necessary. Employees must comply with newly enacted safety protocols and procedures. Hospital leaders should set the example, and em- ployees who fail to adhere to safety protocols must be held accountable. Employee Training Regular and structured safety train- ing is an OSHA requirement. Em- ployees must be trained upon hir- ing, when OSHA standards change, and annually. Make safety training a part of every meeting. This means more than just presenting informa- tion to employees. OSHA has moved from a "right to know" to a "right to understand" requirement. Also, keep a copy of training re- cords. Document the attendees, the safety issue addressed and any pro- grams instituted. Make sure every employee knows where the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) and Hazard Communication Stan- dard (HCS) — materials developed by the safety team — are located. These are resources an OSHA inspec- tor will ask to see during a visit. When it comes to OSHA, all practices must take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach. As you identify potential hazards, develop a safety manual. Prepare detailed safety plans that outline policies and procedures de- signed to prevent injury and illness. Where Trouble Lurks Here are the top 10 OSHA violations committed by veterinary practices, as reported by AVMA PLIT. 1. No hazard communication program. 2. No certification of personal protective equipment assessment. 3. No fire and emergency plans. 4. Poor employee training documentation. 5. Lack of Safety Data Sheets. 6. Inappropriate personal protective equipment. 7. Poor or no chemical labeling. 8. OSHA forms not utilized. 9. Human food in unsafe areas. 10. No control of waste anesthetic gases. Financial Penalties Need an incentive to be compli- ant? OSHA fines jumped by about 80 percent in August 2016 — the first increase in 25 years — and will rise annually to keep pace with inflation. If you think com- pliance is expensive, consider the list below as a reality check. The fines shown are per violation and are cumulative. No business wants to be on the receiving end of an OSHA inspection and fine, but by paying attention to rules and regulations you can achieve and maintain com- pliance and provide a safe work environment for employees. Additional OSHA information, resources and updates can be found at www.osha.gov. Violation type Pre-2016 maximum Post-2016 maximum Other than serious $7,000 $12,600 Serious $7,000 $12,600 Willful $70,000 $126,000 Repeat $70,000 $126,000 Hospital leaders should set the example, and employees who fail to adhere to safety protocols must be held accountable.

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