Make sure these areas are covered to keep your team members safe.
Your hospital safety manual is imperative to keeping your team members out of harm’s way. Here are some things to include in your safety manual:
> A policy letter. The letter should make it clear that your practice’s leadership is committed to providing a safe and sanitary workplace for all team members in accordance with the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The letter should clearly state that the directions in the hospital safety manual are official policies of the practice and are subject to the same enforcement as any other hospital policy.
> General safety policies. Include information on items like safety equipment, food and beverages, hazardous or non-routine tasks, electrical safety, hearing conservation, driving, and workplace issues concerning reproduction and fertility.
> A safety training plan. Make it clear that every staff member will undergo a comprehensive safety training program so they’ll have the necessary information and skills to properly perform their jobs.
> An accident, injury, and illness prevention plan. Explain what steps the practice will take to identify and correct unsafe conditions, investigate and report accidents or illnesses, and seek medical or first aid for injured staff members.
> A fire prevention and emergency preparedness plan. List the steps the practice will take to prevent the start of a fire, the people responsible for regular checks of the equipment, and the duties each team member will be expected to assume in the event of an emergency or disaster.
> A hazardous communication plan. This is your plan for keeping hazardous chemicals under control, including explanations of the material safety data sheet and labeling system in place.
> Special chemical plans. Include the specifics for handling chemicals like ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and chemotherapy drugs.
> Radiation and anesthesia safety plans. Explain how to safely use the equipment, and include the requisite safety equipment and user-level checks team members must perform.
> An infection control plan. In clear language, explain safe handling of sharps and disposal of medical waste items in accordance with state rules. Include rules for the prevention of zoonotic diseases and the transmission of pathogens.
> A security and violence prevention plan. Security is more than just theft prevention, so spell out your practice’s plan for preventing workplace violence.
> Ergonomics program policy. Though there isn’t a national ergonomics plan that applies to veterinary practices, some states do have rules practice owners must follow. Besides, back injuries are one of the most common injuries in the profession, so you’ll need to address that issue.
Be sure to include the names and contact information of team members who are responsible for each of these aspects of your safety plan.