OSHA just announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities. Through this NEP, OSHA will target nursing homes and residential care facilities for three years in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and injuries.
The new NEP is not significantly different than a 2002 NEP that ended in 2003, except the new program includes workplace violence. The program applies to all general industry nursing and residential care facilities covered under NAICS codes 623110, 623210 and 623311.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports nursing and residential care facilities experienced one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses of all major American industries in 2010 - more than 2 times higher than all private industry as a whole. The data show most injuries were attributed to overexertion and slips, trips and falls. At the same time, approximately 2,130 workplace assaults were reported by persons in nursing and residential care facilities.
For the new NEP, OSHA will target facilities with a days-away-from-work rate of 10 or higher per 100 full-time workers.