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Stay abreast on the latest OSHA compliance news and information. We'll have OSHA compliance news, helpful tips, commentary, question & answer entries, product updates, new product annoucements, and much more. Be sure to bookmark this page!

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Record Refrigerator Temperatures?

Q: Does OSHA require temperatures of refrigerators to be recorded on a daily basis where medication and/or vaccines are kept?

A: It is not an OSHA requirement to record the temperatures where vaccines and medications are stored, since OSHA's regulations govern only employee safety. Generally medical facilities have either their own internal risk management (patient safety) policies OR often, they are accredited by a body, such as the Joint Commission, that has such requirements. I'm sure HCA requires that physician practices monitor and record these temperatures.

Posted by Quality America on March 31, 2008 in General | Comments (1)

Fire Safety

Q: During a fire drill or the real thing, our practice has liquid nitrogen in cryac tanks in each exam room. Should we remove them from the rooms and if so take them with us out of the building? We have at least 20 tanks that are hand held tanks 10"-15". The large tank is in a designated closet appropriately labeled with AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.

A: Based upon established guidelines for fire safety, I do not recommend collecting all of the 20 cryac tanks before evacuating. Considering that time is of the essence in a building evacuation, tasks additional to rescuing those in immediate danger then evacuating yourself are based upon a subjective "if time allows" judgment. Specifically, medical gases should be attended to "only if time allows." Further information on building evacuation procedures can be found on page 3-4 of your Quality America OSHA Safety Program Manual. A few pages later, on page 3-7, there is guidance on when to fight the fire yourself and when you should evacuate. If the criteria to evacuate are met, chances are the fire is of such a magnitude that it is highly unlikely time would be available to collect the tanks.

Too often in emergency situations, people lose their lives trying to save material goods. As firefighters will tell you, human beings generally underestimate how difficult it is to see, move, and breathe in a fire. Also, please practice your alternate evacuation routes. Sadly, after a fire, victim's remains are sometimes discovered in front of a blocked primary evacuation route when the secondary route was unobstructed--make sure everyone is familiar with more than one way out of your facility.

Posted by Quality America on March 28, 2008 in Fire and Electrical Safety | Comments (4)

Vehicle Stickers

Q: We have a central lab in our corporation that makes runs between all of our sites. We have 3 courier vans. I am wondering if there needs to be a sticker on the van that identifies the contents of it as being biohazard?

A: Normally, signage in this situation would be governed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as opposed to OSHA. I called MI DOT and they referred me to the state highway patrol motor carrier division so I called MI Dept. of State Police and spoke with Sgt. Susan M. Fries in the Hazardous Materials and Investigations Unit.

There are labeling requirements for the packages, but there are not placarding requirements for the vehicle transporting the packages. Also, the people preparing/packaging the samples before transport and those actually transporting it require training as specified in 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H.

The training requirements may be viewed online at:

Have a good one!

Posted by Quality America on March 28, 2008 in General | Comments (0)

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