Reinforce a culture of safety in your home care agency for this year’s OSHA’s health and safety week
The safety of home care employees is a top priority for all employers, but the demands of senior care and hiring challenges can mean safety falls to the wayside. This month’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) health and safety week is an important opportunity to reassess your health and safety compliance courses – as well as employee completion rate.
Create a culture of safety with health and safety compliance courses
Creating a culture of employee safety within the home health care setting that protects employees from injury and illness takes more than checking off a compliance training course box. Just because your employees must complete compliance training courses doesn’t mean they retain or apply the information to their day-to-day work.
For OSHA health and safety compliance courses to be effective, they must be…
- Easily accessible
- In a language your employees understand
Following are tips for ensuring your home care employees gain the most from three important OSHA health and safety compliance courses: hand hygiene, infectious disease control and workplace violence prevention.
Reviewing your hand hygiene training courses this OSHA health and safety week
Ensuring all employees take time to properly wash their hands on the job is a basic protocol for keeping employees and patients safe from infectious diseases. But, feeling rushed and complacent can make good hand-washing practices fall by the wayside.
Many infections are caused by germs or bacteria transmitted on caregivers’ hands. This is often because bacteria can survive for days on patient care equipment and other surfaces. Bed rails, IV pumps and computer keyboards are often contaminated with bacteria.
Important topics to cover in a hand hygiene safety compliance course for OSHA health and safety week include:
- When to wash hands
- For how long to wash hands
- When to wear gloves
- How to reduce spreading germs
Reminding your employees about washing their hands properly can decrease the likelihood of spreading germs.
Reviewing your infectious diseases safety training course
Another important OSHA course to review is infectious disease training, which helps protect workers against health hazards from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) and reduces risk from exposure.
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria in human blood that can cause disease. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Your agency’s Exposure Control Plan, designed to reduce the risk of employees’ exposure, should be clearly explained in your employee health and safety compliance training course.
Additionally, under OSHA standards, all employees who have routine exposure to blood borne pathogens must be offered the hepatitis B vaccine at no cost from their employer within 10 working days of initial assignment unless:
They have previously received the vaccine series
Antibody testing has revealed that they are immune
The vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons
Reviewing your workplace violence courses this OSHA health and safety week
Keeping your employees physically safe from violence while on the job is another important compliance course to review over OSHA health and safety week. Each year, an average of 2 million United States workers report being a victim of violence at work, according to OSHA.
Examples of workplace violence include:
While no one training solution can completely prevent workplace violence, on-demand training can play a valuable role in a workplace violence prevention program. On-demand training allows you to customize courses to address your team’s needs. For example, you might include training topics like…
Identifying warning signs and risk factors of workplace violence that can occur while working in a home environment
Developing a personal safety plan for commuting in early morning and late evening hours
Using effective communication strategies
Training should also include information about how to report workplace violence and sexual harassment. Employees should come away with a clear understanding that violence and harassment are not tolerated.
Click here for more information about showd.me’s on-demand courses covering workplace violence and sexual harassment prevention training.
Increasing completion rates for home care health and safety compliance courses
Offering a suite of health and safety courses like the three above is only the first step in creating a safer work environment for home care employees. Increasing completion rates is essential. Following are four tips to increase completion rates of health and safety compliance courses.
One of the most effective ways to increase employee training completion rates is to provide access to mobile-friendly, on-demand courses. Online courses can be completed anytime, making it easier for busy employees to stay up-to-date on their training requirements. You’ll need a system for assessing and tracking employee training completion so you can quickly identify who has completed their coursework.
Training in multiple languages
Offer online courses in the languages your home care employees speak to ensure they master and retain the content.
Send frequent reminders and even offer incentives
It’s important to send reminders to employees who have not completed their training. This will encourage them to complete the course before deadlines are missed.
Employers can further incentivize employees to complete their training with rewards or recognition programs to help motivate workers toward meeting targets.
Make courses engaging
Ensure the content included in health and safety compliance courses is engaging and relevant to the tasks each employee is expected to perform. Employees must understand why these courses are necessary. Showing them how learning these topics can improve job performance makes them more likely to meet training requirements.
The benefits of health and safety compliance courses are clear: they provide employers with an effective way to reduce risks associated with workplace injuries or illnesses and enhance employee performance.
By implementing these strategies, employers in the home care setting can achieve higher completion rates for employee training, create a safety culture within their organization, and successfully meet all relevant OSHA regulations.
Let us help you deliver engaging employee health and safety compliance courses for your home healthcare agency. Schedule a demo to see how.