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Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

Related keywords: assisted living facilities, convalescent homes, group homes, hospices (inpatient care), rest homes

A female works with a patient lifting device to assist another woman in a wheelchair. Caption: Workplace safety at nursing and residential care facilities includes training employees on proper use of patient lifting equipment.Like other large or small businesses in Washington State, nursing and residential care facilities are required to address possible workplace hazards through an Accident Prevention Program (APP). An APP makes good business sense. After all, its ultimate purpose is to prevent injuries and illness to employees.
An APP is a safety tool that prompts employers to:

  • Look around to identify workplace hazards that could hurt employees.
  • Find and apply ways to reduce or eliminate hazards.
  • Provide a detailed safety orientation to employees so they understand possible hazards of their particular job and how to work safely.

Workplace hazards that are common in nursing and residential care facilities include:

  • Slips, trips and falls.
  • Awkward postures, heavy lifting, and other physical stressors relating to resident handling.
  • Exposure to tuberculosis, and blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  • Workplace violence.
  • Ladder use and other maintenance activities.
  • Hazardous drugs.
  • Corrosive cleaning products and other potentially hazardous chemicals.
Note: The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has begun a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address hazards for workers in nursing homes and residential care facilities.L&I has published Nursing and Residential Care Facilities NEP (DD 13.40) (515 KB PDF) to implement OSHA's NEP for programmed inspections of nursing and residential care facilities in the state of Washington. 

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