New Occupational Health and Safety Standards published by NHS Employers

NHS Employers represents trusts in England on workforce issues and helps employers to ensure the NHS is a place where people want to work.

Health and safety is, of course, a significant workforce issue and members of the Partnership for Occupational Health and Safety in Healthcare (POSHH), a sub group of the NHS Staff Council, have produced a document of Occupational Health and Safety Standards that is available on the NHS Employers website.

Very similar to the old NHS controls assurance standards, the document pulls together legal requirements, examples of good practice and practical guidance on meeting standards for the following key areas of occupational health and safety:

– Management of health and safety
– Provision of an occupational health service
– Musculoskeletal disorders/manual handling
– Violence and agression
– Slips, trips and falls
– Stress
– COSHH general requirements
– Prevention and control (Communicable diseases, needlestick management/blood-borne viruses, latex and healthcare acquired infection, including hand washing)
– Contractors and sub-contractors
– Fire
– Working Time Directive
– Pregnancy and new mothers
– Display Screen Equipment

The Occupational Health and Safety Standardswill both help trusts meet their legal obligations, and achieve the health and safety aspects of the Healthcare Commissions Standards for Better Health; NHS Litigation Authority standards and the Improving Working Lives initiative. The standards also provide a useful checklist for those involved in the commissioning of care.

The standards can be freely downloaded here.

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