Category Archives: Health & Safety

Incidence of needlestick and other sharp object injuries in newly graduated nurses

Source: Ya Hui Yang, Shyh Jong Wu, Chao Ling Wang, Chun Yuh Yang, Saou Hsing Liou, Trong Neng Wu, AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, Article in Press, published online 13 March 2013
(subscription required)

Nurses are particularly at high risk of needlestick and injuries by other sharp object (hereafter called needlestick injuries). Newly graduated nurses (hereafter called new nurses) now comprise >10% of a typical hospital’s nursing staff. Nursing students have a higher risk than registered nurses. As nursing students graduate and become new nurses, their needlestick injuries warrant close attention. However, there have been few studies looking into needlestick injuries in new nurses.

Nurse Staffing and NICU Infection Rates

Source: Jeannette A. Rogowski, Douglas Staiger, Thelma Patrick, Jeffrey Horbar, Michael Kenny, Eileen T. Lake, JAMA Pediatrics, Published online March 18, 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
There are substantial shortfalls in nurse staffing in US neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) relative to national guidelines. These are associated with higher rates of nosocomial infections among infants with very low birth weights…. Hospitals understaffed 32% of their NICU infants and 92% of high-acuity infants relative to guidelines. To meet minimum staffing guidelines on average would require an additional 0.11 of a nurse per infant overall and 0.39 of a nurse per high-acuity infant…. Substantial NICU nurse understaffing relative to national guidelines is widespread. Understaffing is associated with an increased risk for VLBW nosocomial infection. Hospital administrators and NICU managers should assess their staffing decisions to devote needed nursing care to critically ill infants….

Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties

Source: Chris Hamby, Center for Public Integrity, Updated: January 25, 2013

…The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Crucible for more than 70 violations and levied almost $250,000 in fines — high numbers for an agency with relatively little power to impose harsh penalties. What almost no one outside of OSHA has known until now: The agency never collected a penny for Grobsmith’s death because it failed to file paperwork in time after Crucible filed for bankruptcy….A private equity firm bought the company’s assets and reopened the mill — calling it Crucible Industries — with most of the same management. The penalty simply disappeared….

…Even after investigating a death and issuing a penalty, federal OSHA or the state agencies it oversees have failed to collect any of the original fine in one of every 10 cases since 2001, the Center found. In many other cases, regulators have settled for a fraction of the penalty initially imposed….

Carlos Centeno and the plight of temporary workers

Source: Jim Morris and Chip Mitchell, Center for Public Integrity, WBEZ Morning Shift, December 21, 2012

When a nearly boiling acid solution burned a Chicago factory worker over most of his body, the company didn’t call 911. Carlos Centeno was a temporary worker. WBEZ and the Center for Public Integrity investigated hazards facing temp workers, and found that the government isn’t keeping close track of their injuries.
98 minutes: Text story
Source: Jim Morris (Center for Public Integrity) and Chip Mitchell (WBEZ), December 19, 2012

‘They were not thinking of him as a human being’
Source: Jim Morris, Chip Mitchell, Updated: January 25, 2013

Company: Temporary worker to blame for his fatal burns
Source: Chip Mitchell, WBEZ, January 7, 2013

Through the Eyes of the Workforce: Creating Joy, Meaning, and Safer Health Care

Source: National Patient Safety Foundation, Lucian Leape Institute, 2013

From the abstract:
Workplace safety is inextricably linked to patient safety. Unless caregivers are given the protection, respect, and support they need, they are more likely to make errors, fail to follow safe practices, and not work well in teams.

This report looks at the current state of health care as a workplace, highlights vulnerabilities common in health care organizations, discusses the costs of inaction, and outlines what a healthy and safe workplace would look like. The report concludes with seven recommendations for actions that organizations need to pursue to effect real change.
See also:
Executive Summary
Webcast Audio
Webcast Slides

CDI Pace of Progress survey

Source: Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), March 2013

From the press release:
Activities to stop the spread of the intestinal superbug Clostridium difficile are on the rise, but they are not yielding large improvements, according to a nationwide survey of infection preventionists released today by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

According to the new survey, 70 percent of infection preventionists have adopted additional interventions in their healthcare facilities to address C. difficile infection (CDI) since March of 2010, but only 42 percent have seen a decline in their healthcare facility-associated CDI rates during that time period; 43 percent have not seen a decline. While CDI rates have climbed to all-time highs in recent years, few facilities (21 percent of respondents) have added more infection prevention staff to address the problem….

2012 Police Suicides: the NSOPS Study

Source: Ron Clark, Andy O’Hara, Badge of Life Police Mental Health Foundation, January 4, 2013

Badge of Life has completed its annual survey of police suicides. Known as NSOPS (National Study of Police Suicides), this is our third in a series of studies that began in 2008.

It will take us several months to review our data and profiles of cases, but one thing is already clear: police suicides took a noticeable drop in 2012. We are the first group to track police suicides on a scientific basis and this is the first reduction we have seen since we began monitoring them in 2008. This is encouraging news that we tentatively attribute to the increased number of departments adopting peer support programs and the increased willingness of officers, many of them younger, to seek professional assistance—not only when they have a problem, but before problems develop (through things like annual “mental health checks”). Other factors may be involved, as well, and we will keep you advised through our newsletters, website and, of course, the final published study. Our studies show the following:

2008 police suicides: 141
2009 police suicides: 143
2012 police suicides: 126

An Increase In The Number Of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked To Lower Rates Of Postsurgery Mortality

Source: Ann Kutney-Lee, Douglas M. Sloane and Linda H. Aiken, Health Affairs, Vol. 32 no. 3, March 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
An Institute of Medicine report has called for registered nurses to achieve higher levels of education, but health care policy makers and others have limited evidence to support a substantial increase in the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees. Using Pennsylvania nurse survey and patient discharge data from 1999 and 2006, we found that a ten-point increase in the percentage of nurses holding a baccalaureate degree in nursing within a hospital was associated with an average reduction of 2.12 deaths for every 1,000 patients—and for a subset of patients with complications, an average reduction of 7.47 deaths per 1,000 patients. We estimate that if all 134 hospitals in our study had increased the percentage of their nurses with baccalaureates by ten points during our study’s time period, some 500 deaths among general, orthopedic, and vascular surgery patients might have been prevented. The findings provide support for efforts to increase the production and employment of baccalaureate nurses.

Safe Lifting Programs at Long-Term Care Facilities and Their Impact on Workers’ Compensation Costs

Source: Tanya E. Restrepo, Frank A. Schmid, Patricia W. Gucer, Harry L. Shuford, Chun J. Shyong, and Melissa A. McDiarmid, Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Volume 55 – Issue 1, January 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
To determine the utility of a safe lifting program index and a measure of lift inventory to predict workers’ compensation claim frequency and costs in long-term care facilities in 23 states…. In this national study, we find that a comprehensive safe lift program, endorsed and promoted by directors of nursing, reduces caregiver injury as measured by workers’ compensation claims frequency and costs….

Healthy Officers Are Safer Officers: The Nexus Between Performance & Health

Source: Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, September 18, 2012

Recording: View the multimedia recording of the Webinar.

Last year, 177 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty and 143 committed suicide. These deaths are devastating and unacceptable. The National Institute of Justice has developed a robust research portfolio to improve officer safety and wellness and, ultimately, save lives. The experts on this panel discussed some of the evidence-based practices and policies that law enforcement agencies can put into operation to reduce officer deaths and improve wellness and performance.

Moderator: Brett Chapman, PhD, NIJ Social Science Analyst.

– Bryan Vila, Professor, Washington State University, will discuss his work on officer fatigue.

– Karen Amendola, Chief Operating Officer, Police Foundation, will discuss advantages and disadvantages of 8-, 10- and 12-hour shifts.

– John Violanti, Research Professor, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, will discuss the long-term impact of police work, including suicide.

– Theron Bowman, Chief of Police, Arlington, Texas, will comment on how police leaders can incorporate these research findings into their management and day-to-day work.