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Health care workers exposed to dangerous chemicals, lack training

Working with hazardous chemicals can be very dangerous, and workers exposed to hazardous chemicals have a higher risk of being a victim of occupational exposure and injuries in the workplace. Did you know that health care workers often work with hazardous chemicals and may be at risk for being injured? 

Health care workers may not be the first occupation people think of when they hear about injuries and illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals, but they do face a high risk of being injured. This is especially true if health care workers are not properly trained on how to handle hazardous chemicals. 

Unfortunately, a new study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that many health care workers who work with hazardous chemicals are not properly trained on how to prevent an accident or injury caused by toxic exposure. The study also found that many health care workers did not know about safety procedures in place to protect themselves from chemical exposure. 

Certain health care workers were more likely to not have training on how to handle hazardous chemicals. The study found that 48 percent of workers using aerosolized antibiotics did not receive any training on how to work with the hazardous chemical. Additionally, 40 percent of workers exposed to surgical smoke did not know about safe-handling procedures. 

These findings are troubling as chemical exposure can be very hazardous to a worker's health. Not knowing how to safely handle and work around hazardous chemicals can result in very serious injuries for workers. That is why employers need to make sure all workers understand the risks in the workplace and make sure all workers are properly trained on how to work with these chemicals.  

Source: EHS Today, "NIOSH: Health Care Workers Lacking in Training on Hazardous Chemicals," Josh Cable, Feb. 25, 2014

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