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March 17, 2012

NIOSH Launches Healthcare OH&S Surveillance Network

Slippery floor caution signThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just launched a new electronic occupational safety and health surveillance system. The Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) is designed to serve as a surveillance resource for U.S. workplaces. It will be used to analyze and report workplace-specific injury and illness events among workers, helping NIOSH spot trends and trouble areas.

The first version of OHSN is limited to the healthcare sector, but NIOSH envisions OHSN will be expanded to other industry sectors in the future. The OHSN Healthcare Sector Component focuses on non-infectious occupational safety and health issues among healthcare personnel, starting with a Traumatic Injury Module.

The module will track three high-risk, preventable types of events that can lead to injuries or musculoskeletal disorders among healthcare personnel:                    
  • Patient handling and working in awkward postures
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Workplace violence
It may be expanded in the future to collect data on other topics, such as contact dermatitis and work-related asthma.

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