OSHA provides guidance on revised Hazard Communication standard
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued instructions to compliance safety and health officers on how to ensure consistent enforcement of the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS was revised in March 2012 to align with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, with the aim of improving the quality, consistency and clarity of chemical hazard information that workers receive. However, the standard will not be fully implemented until June 1, 2016.
This instruction explains how the revised standard is to be enforced during its transition period and after the standard is fully implemented. It also outlines the revisions to the HCS, such as the revised hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals and specifying the format and required content for safety data sheets.
Under the standard, employers were required to train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheets by Dec. 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors had to comply with revised safety data sheet requirements by June 1, 2015. Manufacturers and importers had to comply with new labeling provisions by June 1 this year. Distributors have until Dec. 1, 2015, to comply with labeling provisions as long as they are not relabeling materials or creating safety data sheets, in which case they should have complied with the June 1 deadline.
Also this week:
HHS launches online compendium of health emergency resources
Health & Human Services launched an online compendium that brings together resources and information to help health systems and public agencies in their disaster-readiness planning. The compendium covers 24 different topics, each containing a list of the major HHS capabilities, products and services that support that function, a brief description of each and information on accessing them.
Four hospitals honored for commitment to quality
Children's Hospital Colorado received the 2015 American Hospital Association (AHA)–McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. The hospital was chosen by a multidisciplinary committee of health care quality and patient safety experts based on sustainable and pervasive achievements in the Institute of Medicine's six quality aims: safe, effective, efficient, timely, patient-centered and equitable health care.
The AHA also recognized Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., Nationwide Children's Hospital of Columbus, Ohio, and Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ind. Each received the Citation of Merit.
UCLA Health cyberattack reminder of health care risks
University of California Los Angeles Health announced that it was the victim of a cyberattack, in which personal information of approximately 4.5 million people, including UCLA Health patients and providers, may have been compromised. UCLA's investigation of the May 5 attack does not reveal that the attacker accessed or acquired personal or medical information, but the organization has not ruled out the possibility. UCLA Health says it is taking steps to protect data and have made modifications to its network to help protect against another cyberattack.
CMS launches 'dry run' test of overall hospital quality star ratings
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a "dry run" test of its proposed star rating system for overall hospital-level quality. The test, which runs through Aug. 17, allows hospitals to ask questions and provide feedback, which may contribute to refinements of the methodology before overall star ratings are posted on the Hospital Compare website next year. Each hospital will receive a Hospital-Specific Report, which includes its star rating results and the measures used to calculate them. CMS encourages hospitals to review their results and email their questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.