Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1994

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Howard Gage

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Gail Buckler

Abstract

The primary goal of this thesis is to identify, evaluate, and control occupational hazards that may exist in health care facilities.

Due to the complex nature of health care facilities, healthcare workers are always challenged by an imposing group of occupational hazards. The magnitude and diversity of these hazards, and the constantly changing nature of government regulations make it difficult to guarantee absolute protection and accuracy of the material contained herein. However, awareness of the risks, compliance with basic preventive measures, and adequate interventions are all essential components to consider in protecting healthcare workers.

Therefore, potential health effects of various hazards such as back injuries, heat, noise, infectious hazards, pharmaceutical hazards, chemicals, exposure to radiation, and prevalent psychosocial (stress) problems are reviewed, and rational approaches to managing and preventing these problems are offered.

This thesis also presents a broad overview of hospital safety programs, and job safety analyses; it offers assistance in understanding and complying with regulations and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

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