Minnesota is recognized across the country as a leader in addressing the myriad health and safety issues nurses face in their work environment. Blood-borne pathogens, violence, back injuries, and other factors jeopardize nurses every day.
MNA members and staff initiated groundbreaking research that exposed this formidable danger and, after identifying the scope of the problem, we took action to address it. Since the late 1980s, we insisited on including health and safety issues in contract language. Ten years before it gained national attention, we were working with state and national congressional agencies about violence in the workplace. We achieved significant rule changes in OSHA standards. We educated our own colleagues about the importance of injury prevention. In addition, we gained important inroads in dealing with the aftermath of injuries. Where nurses once were shut out of insurance when workers’ compensation kicked in, language in many Minnesota contracts now provides for continued economic contributions to health insurance premiums for up to 24 months after the injury.
Workplace Health and Safety Sites
General Health and Safety
- Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA)
- Minnesota Occupational Health and Safety (in the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI)
- National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- OSHA's Electronic Compliance Assistance Tools -- Helps workers and employers identify and address potential occupational hazards in nursing homes or in hospitals by describing standard requirements and safe work practices.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- NIOSH Guidelines for Worker Safety and Health
Bloodborne Pathogens and Preventing Needlestick Injuries
Tuberculosis (TB) and Control of Airborne Pathogens
- NIOSH and CDC guide
- CDC guidelines for preventing TB transmission of mycobacterium
- Respiratory Protection Standard
Safe Patient Handling and Lifting (including no-lift policies)
Chemicals and Hazardous Drugs
- CDC Guidelines for Infection Control
- Handy compilation of CDC and other regulatory guidelines, published by Premier, Inc.
- Index and Links to Bloodborne Pathoge Exposure Guidelines and multiple related issues.
- Guidelines for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Health Care Settings (2007)
- Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Health Care Facilities (2008)
- Nurses with Disabilities (published by the Office of Disability Employment Policy)
- Workplace Ergonomics Reference Guide (published by the U.S. Dept. of Defense - Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program
- Employer's Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Approval of rapid INSTI[TM] HIV-1 Antibody Test
"Protecting Yourself from H1N1 In the Workplace" National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences H1N1 Response Training Tool Worker Tool Kit
NIOSH topic: Occupational Health Issues Associated with H1N1 Virus
- Hurt at work? Visit the Work Injured Nurses Group (WING) Web site information and resources!