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Of health workers and safe workplaces

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Providing a hazard-free workplace is crucial to ensure the safety of employees. And this applies to hospitals too. With health care providers exposed to numerous hazards in their workplace - hospitals, there is a need to create awareness on precautions and safety protocols.

In a step towards this, the Christian Medical College (CMC) is organising a two-day national conference on Occupational Health in Health Care Organisations on October 30 and 31. The theme for the deliberations is “Implementing good occupational health practices in hospitals.”

Health care providers face the risk of getting infections such as HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, swine flu while working with infected patients. They are also exposed to radiation and chemicals.

“In a hospital setting, the employees could face physical, chemical, biological and psycho social hazards. Through this conference, we will be creating awareness on the various hazards in hospitals, how staff should protect themselves and the necessary precautions,” Reginald G. Alex, organising secretary of the conference said.

He said that occupational health was an evolving field and CMC was taking measures to ensure that its employees had safe work environs.

The World Health Organisation too has observed that protecting the occupational health of health workers was critical to having an adequate work force of trained and healthy health personnel.

“Workplace stress is a psycho social hazard. We are planning to have a helpline so that they can reach out to us. We providing counselling services and coping techniques for stress,” he explained.

Exposure to radiation is another risk factor in a health care organistion, B. Rabi Raja Singh, radiation safety officer, CMC noted.

“This is a physical hazard. We have to ensure that the staff, such as technicians, are not over exposed to radiation. Exceeding the limit of exposure could lead to cancers and sterility. We are monitoring the level of exposure by using personal radiation monitors,” he added.

Precautionary measures for persons handling chemicals in hospitals will also be dealt. “Many think that chemicals are used only in laboratories. But, it is used for cleaning purposes too. Unsafe use of concentrated acid could cause eye injuries. We should see what chemicals are used and which are hazardous. The importance of wearing safety gear such as glasses and gloves should be explained to staff,” T.S. Vijayakumar, senior scientist, Nephrology added.

Dr. Alex added that CMC is phasing out use of mercury by bringing in electronic gadgets for blood pressure apparatus and thermometers.

Factory medical officers of leather industries in Vellore will also participate in the conference. D.J. Christopher, organising chairman, said they hoped that this platform will enable sharing of knowledge and experience, and increase awareness on various hazards.

Close to 300 persons are expected to participate in the conference that will be inaugurated by Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar.



Conference to create awareness on various hazards in hospitals, how staff should protect themselves and the necessary precautions



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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 12:08:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/of-health-workers-and-safe-workplaces/article7816916.ece

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