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NIOSH issues safety how-tos for home healthcare workers

NIOSH home health care bulletinsThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is making available a series of bulletins designed to help home health care workers stay safe and healthy on the job.

"Home healthcare workers can be vulnerable as they face an unprotected and unpredictable environment each time they enter a client's community and home," note the introduction to How to Prevent Violence on the Job. "Verbal abuse from the client, family members, or people in the community is a form of workplace violence. Verbal abuse may be subtle, such as asking for help beyond the scope of the job (such as with cleaning), or it may be obvious, such as complaining about job performance or worker appearance—or even threatening to cause harm."

Another bulletin advises home healthcare workers on how to prevent needlestick and sharps injuries.

"Needlestick and other sharps injuries are a serious hazard in any healthcare setting," according to NIOSH. "Contact with contaminated needles, scalpels, broken glass, and other sharps may expose healthcare workers to blood that contains pathogens which pose a grave, potentially lethal risk."

Additional bulletins geared specifically toward home healthcare workers include the topics:

• How to prevent latext allergies
• How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders
• How to prevent exposure in unsafe conditions, and
• How to prevent car accidents

For these and other NIOSH bulletins, go to: www.cdc.gov/niosh/pubs/default.html

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