Category Archives: Health & Safety

Fighting Night-Shift Fatigue

Source: Carol Potera, AJN The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 118 no. 5, May 2018

Because society needs nursing services around the clock, nurses must work irregular hours and at night. This leads to disruption of circadian rhythms and to sleep deficits that can affect work readiness and the health, safety, and well-being of nurses. Long shifts, shift rotations, double shifts, and evening and night shifts pose short- and long-term health and safety risks for nurses, as well as danger to their patients. Sleep-deprived nurses are also at risk for car accidents. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, less than four hours of sleep in the past 24 hours increases a driver’s risk of crashing 11.5 times, compared with just 1.3 times after seven hours of sleep…..

How to Break an NDA, See If Your Pay Is Fair, Confront a Colleague, and More

Source: Mary Pilon, Bloomberg, May 1, 2018

Practical advice on some of the most uncomfortable—and important—things you could do for your career.

Related:
Employee Rights
Source: NOLO, 2018

Can you be required to take a drug test? Who is entitled to earn overtime? What kinds of conduct fall under the definition of illegal discrimination and harassment — and what should you do if you are a victim? Can you take time off work to care for a new child, serve in the military, cast your ballot, or recover from a serious illness? Get detailed answers to all of your questions about workplace rights here.

Your Workplace Rights
Source: Workplace Fairness, 2018
Hiring & Classifications
Looking for a new job? Wondering if the questions you were asked at the interview were legal? This section addresses some of the most common issues you may encounter in the hiring process, and how you are classified as a worker may affect your workplace rights.

Discrimination
Are you being treated differently at work? If so, is it because of your race, sex, age, disability, national origin or religion? Wondering what other kinds of discrimination are illegal? Get the facts on workplace discrimination here.

Harassment & Other Workplace Problems
Whether you’re being pressured to have sex with your boss, forced to listen to foul language or slurs, or wondering whether the comment you made might get you in trouble, you’ll find this information on harassment and other problems you might encounter on the job to be helpful.

Unpaid Wages/Wage & Hour Problems
Not getting paid what your employer owes you? Are you forced to work overtime, but not receiving any extra pay? Get the facts on “wage and hour” laws here.

Benefits & Leaves
For most employees, your job isn’t just about the pay, but also what benefits are included. Sick leave, disability leave, family/medical leave–the different kinds of leave you may be allowed to take can be confusing. Get information about health care coverage, pensions, leave eligibility and other benefit-related information here.

Privacy & Workplace Surveillance
Is somebody watching you? It just might be your employer. Find out here what rights to privacy in the workplace you do and do not have.

Health & Safety/Workplace Injuries
Is your workplace unsafe? Are you worried about getting hurt at work? Wondering what to do about it? Have questions about the workers’ compensation system? Find the answers here.

Whistleblowing & Retaliation
Fighting back when you see your employer doing something wrong can be scary, and risky. But there are laws that can protect you in a number of situations. Learn more about how you might be protected when you blow the whistle or challenge illegal conduct.

Unions & Collective Action
Facing an organizing campaign at work (or want to get involved in one)? Already a union member but don’t understand how things work? Fired for organizing or joining a union? This section covers information about your rights to organize and be in a union, and how unions work.

Termination & Unemployment
Whether you were suddenly fired, laid off, or asked to resign, you’ll want to know what happens now that you are out of a job.

Sexual Harassment Cases Go Uncounted as Complaint Process Goes Private

Source: Jeff Green, Bloomberg, April 23, 2018

Even as women have begun speaking out about sexual harassment at work, the number of official complaints to state and federal regulators hit a two-decade low in 2017.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its state-level counterparts received just over 9,600 complaints in 2017, according to data obtained by Bloomberg, down from more than 16,000 in 1997—a 41 percent drop.

Shot on the Way to Work: Is Travel Time Work Time?

Source: Fatima Hussein, Daily Labor Report, April 18, 2018
(subscription required)  

• Worker killed on the way to on-call employment draws questions of travel time to work 
• Consequences of case could affect wage and hour claims in Ohio

After an on-call Ohio hospital worker was fatally shot on his way to work, his widow was awarded a worker’s compensation claim in her late husband’s name. ….

Workplace violence in healthcare

Source: Journal of Healthcare Protection Management, Vol. 34 no. 1, 2018
(subscription required)

Articles include:

Team Wilson: how a single workplace violence incident changed healthcare security
Robert Rusting
A potential breakthrough in the need for hospital management to recognize the consequences of violence to nurses and other staff members and to take action to upgrade security result from CEO reactions to a horrendous incident in a Massachusetts hospital. The involvement of a nurses’ organization [the Massachusetts Nurses Association] in providing hospital management with the means to deal with the growing violence against staff is also detailed.

Aspects of combating terrorist activities in healthcare
Anthony Luizzo, Ben Scaglione
The keys to maintaining a terrorism-free workplace lies in the security administrator’s mastering of knowing how to capture terrorist threats before they wreak havoc on the institution and its surroundings, according to the authors, who provide in this article a wealth of sources to the administrator for obtaining such a mastery.

OSHA: focusing on healthcare’s continuing increase in workplace violence
Kevin Tuohey
Injuries to nurses, nursing assistants and other healthcare workers continue to be far more prevalent than in other industries and continue to grow in numbers. In this article, the author reviews new efforts to prevent and reduce workplace violence by OSHA and other agencies. He also describes in detail the activities of IAHSS in this area and makes recommendations about maximizing the expertise of healthcare security and safely.

Hospital settlement: OSHA spells out requirements for implementing a WPV program
In a settlement …. with Bergen Regional Medical Center (BRMC) researched in May 2017 and verified in September 2017, OSHA and one of the nation’s largest public hospitals have resolved litigation by reaching an agreement that requires the center to enhance its efforts to prevent violence in the workplace.

A Seattle Library Employee Was Stuck With a Needle. Should Branches Make Changes to Deal With the Opioid Epidemic?

Source: Erica C. Barnett, Seattle Magazine, March 8, 2018

The Seattle Public Library system and the King County Public Library system already take very different approaches to drug use and needle disposal in public restrooms.

Related:
Once It Was Overdue Books. Now Librarians Fight Overdoses.
Source: Annie Correal, New York Times, February 28, 2018

….The opioid epidemic is reshaping life in America, including at the local public library, where librarians are considering whether to carry naloxone to battle overdoses. At a time when the public is debating arming teachers, it is another example of an unlikely group being enlisted to fight a national crisis…..

Brockton Public Library making changes to cope with opioid crisis
Source: Jason Law, Boston 25 News, March 1, 2018

Public libraries are getting creative when it comes to dealing with the opioid crisis. The library director in Brockton says he’s taken steps to keep addicts out of his library. The bathrooms inside the Brockton Public Library will now be locked at all times. To get in, you need a key, which is kept by the reference desk…..

Librarians Learn How To Save Those Overdosing On Opioids
Source: CBS New York, March 1, 2018

….Librarians and other staff members are being trained on how to revive someone who’s overdosing. Matt Pfisterer is the director of the Middletown-Thrall Library in Middletown and he knows exactly where to find and how to use their Narcan kits…..

Lawmaker wants to bring anti-overdose medication to Michigan libraries
Source: Noah Fromson, WZZM13, February 18, 2018

A Michigan Senate bill would bring the fight the opioid crisis in public libraries.

Library system cuts hours, reduces purchases so county can spend more on opioid crisis
Source: Rick Lee, York Daily Record, February 7, 2018

York County’s free public library system is downsizing — trimming hours, employee schedules and the purchase of new releases — because of a $300,000 budget cut. That cut came in December when county commissioners diverted more resources to combat the heroin and opioid crisis that has gripped the city, county, state and nation…..

How The Everett Public Library Is ‘Not Turning A Blind Eye’ To The Opioid Crisis
Source: Jennifer Wing, KNKX, February 10, 2018

…..The two libraries that make up the Everett Public Library System have been quietly dealing with people who are addicted to heroin using these safe, public spaces to shoot up.  The Everett Library System is accepting this as the new normal.  But, at the same time, it is playing a larger role in getting people the help that they need…..

Opioid Crisis: Libraries, Resources, Context and Data
Source: WebJunction, August 17, 2017

Systematic review: What works to address obesity in nurses?

Source: M Kelly, J Wills, Occupational Medicine, Advance Articles, March 22, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: There is evidence that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among nurses is increasing. As well as the impact on health, the costs associated with obesity include workplace injury, lost productivity and sickness absence. Finding ways to address obesity in nurses may be a challenge because of the barriers they face in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Aims:
To identify the available evidence for interventions to address obesity in nurses. Methods Databases searched included CINAHL, SCOPUS (which encompasses the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews), PsycINFO, MEDLINE and British Nursing Index. Ancillary searching of the grey literature was conducted for case studies of weight management interventions in National Health Service (NHS) settings. Inclusion criteria were studies involving nurses that reported on interventions addressing health behaviours that contribute to obesity and included at least one obesity-related outcome measure.

Results:
Eleven primary studies were found concerning lifestyle interventions for nurses. There was no strong evidence for any particular intervention to address obesity, although integrating interventions into nurses’ daily working lives may be important. Case studies from the grey literature showcased a range of interventions, but very few studies reported outcomes.

Conclusions:
The review demonstrates that there is insufficient good-quality evidence about successful interventions to address obesity in nurses. Evidence does indicate that interventions should be designed around the specific barriers nurses may face in leading a healthy lifestyle.