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OSHA Inspections: Are You Ready?

Meeting OSHA requirements helps ensure the safety of patients and staff. BY ROBERT KURTZ

Editor’s note: This article is part one of a two-part series. Look for the next installment in the July issue.


SCs should prepare for inspec- tions by the Occupational Safety

and Health Administration (OSHA) just as they do for surveys by the accrediting organizations and the Centers for Medi- care & Medicaid Services, says Anne Dean, RN, founder of The ADA Group, an ASC consulting firm, in DeLand, Florida. They should not prepare at all but work year-round to ensure consis- tent and constant compliance with OS- HA’s rules.

“It shouldn’t be about OSHA com- ing to survey you,” Dean says. “It should be about what needs to happen to ensure that rules are followed, a safe


environment is maintained and the ASC avoids potential ramifications for non- compliance that can include harm to patients and staff, stiff fines and a tar- nished reputation. You can never stop the ongoing training, competency as- sessment and the monitoring of the staff and physicians.” By gaining a better understanding of

OSHA’s rules and what ASCs need to do to comply with them, surgery cen- ters will put themselves in the best posi- tion possible to keep patients and staff members safe and achieve a deficiency- free OSHA inspection, says Dean.

Ongoing Training While OSHA is a federal agency, it is administered by the states, which oper- ate their own job safety and health pro-

grams and can establish their own re- quirements, says Scott J. Trimas, MD, a facial plastic surgeon and otolaryngolo- gist in Florida. Trimas also serves as a surveyor for the Accreditation Associa- tion for Ambulatory Health Care and a consultant for its subsidiary, Skokie, Illinois-based Healthcare Consultants International. “OSHA requirements vary by state,”

he says. “Some states are more active than others. There’s a lot of leeway there. You should check with your state to see if there are OSHA requirements regarding your particular location. For example, in a lot of places you can dis- pose of liquid waste down the sink or toilet, but there are some states where they may not allow that, where they may require you solidify and dispose of it in red bag waste.” While there may be slight differ- ences between the states, all ASCs need to make sure that they are providing

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