Chapter 8 - Health, Safety and Security Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 8 - Health, Safety and Security Deck (61):

Health, Safety, and Security federal laws




- you can expect there will be questions on the exam about OSHA; it is a major piece of legislation that impacts every employer in the country


OSHA General Duty Clause

- "each employer (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act"
- each employee should "comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct


Bloodborne Pathogens

- infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV
- needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens


Bloodborne Pathogens EXAM TIP

- bloodborne pathogens are receiving more attention these days; the attempt to prevent injury through contamination or puncture injuries is a key OSHA goal; you can expect the exam to have some references to this issue



- any employee that faces risks of transmitting bloodborne pathogens must meet specific OSHA standards for handling sharps (syringe needles, surgical needles, knives, and other puncture devices)
- all must be properly disposed of in puncture-resistant containers known as sharps containers
- red with lids that can lock when the container is full


Also Subject to Bloodborne Pathogens Regulations

- used medical sponges, bandages, and any other materials contaminated with human blood
- all bodily secretions are included in the list of controlled and hazardous substances and must be disposed of in a proper way through incineration or in approved medical landfills
- all human blood, urine, and other bodily secretions must be handled as though contaminated with HBV, HCV, or HIV


Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act

- OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard as amended pursuant to the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 prescribes safeguards to protect workers against the health hazards caused by bloodborne pathogens
- self-sheathing needles, sharps with engineered sharpes injury protections, and needle-less systems are all examples of engineered protections against bloodborne pathogens in the workplace
- need to document all protections you use against bloodborne pathogens and conduct regular employee training programs to be sure all workers understand the rules and how to protect themselves against protection


Mine Safety and Health Act (MHSA)

- addresses the issue of safety and health of employees in the mining industry
- Mine Safety and Health Administration inspects mines in all locations around the country
- tracks statistics based on 2 categories: coal mines and metal/nonmetal mines


Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act

- part of ARRA 2009 to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology
- subtitle D addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information, partly through several provisions that strengthen the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules (HIPAA applies to health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers that transmit any health information in electronic form)


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

- protects patient privacy
- electronic systems must be protected from unauthorized persons accessing patient records
- paper systems must provide for the same protections
- disclosing patient information verbally to unauthorized persons is also forbidden


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

- disabled individuals are defined as people with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities, people who have a record or history of such impairment, or people perceived by others as having such an impairment
- employers are not required to make job accommodations until they receive a request for a job accommodation; at that time, they are required to enter into a discussion about the specific ability, the accommodation requested by the employee, and any alternative accommodation the employer believes would speak to the individual's request while being more acceptable to the employer
- recently, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has promulgated regulations that require federal contractors with $10,000 or more in contracts to gather disability status about job applicants as well as employees



- the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a key piece of legislation that impacts most employers in the country; you will find questions on the exam about this subject area


Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act

- intended to "loosen" the interpretation of disability so more people would be covered by its protections
- now almost any physical or mental condition that impacts a major life activity can be considered a disability covered under the act


Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

- genetic information can offer indicators of predilection for certain diseases such as cancer, MS, and diabetes
- up until passing this act in 2008, it was fairly common for employers and insurance companies to restrict benefit coverage based on genetic information; even the basic decision to hire or not hire someone based on their genetic information was not uncommon


Rehabilitation Act

- applies only to federal contractors and subcontractors with $10,000 or more in contracts
- requires federal contractors to make job accommodations for employees and hiring accommodations for job applicants under certain circumstances
- replaced the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and created support for states to form vocational rehabilitation programs
- term handicapped has been changed to disabled


Pregnancy Discrimination Act

- specifically said that no employer can illegally discriminate against an employee due to pregnancy
- defines pregnancy as a temporary disability and requires accommodation on the job if necessary
- guarantees the employee rights to return to work to the same or similar job with the same pay following her pregnancy disability


Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

- requires some employers to provide unpaid leave of absence when the employee, the employees spouse or other family member requires medical attention and the employee must be off work to care for the circumstance
- up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year
- deemed flexible in favor of helping the employee accommodate their medical needs


Mental Health Parity Act and Addition Equity Act (MHPAEA)

- federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

- improving quality and lowering healthcare costs (free preventive care, prescription discounts for seniors, protection against healthcare fraud, small business tax credits)
- new consumer protections (preexisting conditions, consumer assistance)
- access to healthcare (health insurance marketplace in each state)
- benefits for women (providing insurance options, covering preventive services, lowering costs)
- young adult coverage (coverage available to children up to age 26)
- strengthening Medicare (yearly wellness visit, many free preventive services for some seniors with Medicare)
- holding insurance companies responsible (insurers justifying any premium increase of 10% or more before the rate takes effect)


Risk Mitigation

- HR is responsible for controlling the risk of financial loss due to safety and health issues in the workplace
- mitigation = lessen in severity


Risk Mitigation - Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)

- IIPPs not mandated by OSHA, but some states do require employers to use them
- OSHA endorses their use
- key elements include management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement
- 8 states require IIPPs or provide incentives for employers to have them: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Texas, Washington)


Risk Mitigation - Identification of Risks/Dangers

- identifying hazards, safety issues, and behavior problems that can cause injury are the result of workplace inspections


Risk Mitigation - Emergency Evacuation

- employees must understand where the nearest exits are and what alternate exist are available in case the primary route out of the building is blocked
- need to know where to reassemble so emergency operations officer can be sure everyone is safely away from the hazard


Risk Mitigation - Emergency Medical Care

- alternative plans to calling 911 for emergency medical care
- treating and transporting injured workers to a medical facility where they can receive proper treatment


Risk Mitigation - Workplace Violence

- consider how you will handle issues involving an employee who is upset and yelling at others in the workforce
- what about a former employee who feels disrespected and returns to the workforce intent on killing someone?
- what about people who enter the workplace with weapons to take away valuable property?


Risk Mitigation - Health & Safety Monitoring

- HR has access to attendance records and can identify patterns in employee wellness or illness, can detect issues with employee safety that occur in more than one supervisory unit


Risk Mitigation - Workplace Safety Inspections

- a key in preventing safety (and health) hazards is an active inspection program that covers all areas of the workplace, including production facilities, office facilities, loading facilities, and shipping facilities


Risk Mitigation - Handling Workplace Violence

- all employees should be trained in recognizing and handling workplace violence problems
- supervisors must be trained in how to respond to workplace violence behavior and when to sound an alarm to other emplpyees


Risk Mitigation - Handling Emergencies

- employees need to understand how to respond
- some employees should be trained in first aid, some designated to secure the facility by locking doors and closing other access points, someone designated to call law enforcement or emergency services, someone to be the spokesperson for media contacts and senior management briefings
- proper safety training for employees and supervisors can go a long way to reducing injuries and achieving the appropriate emergency response when needed


Security Risks

- identifying risks is a task that should be undertaken as a part of the policy development process and procedural planning
- the way to do that is to inspect each element of organizational operations and ask yourself what could go wrong, or what is exposed, and develop your plans accordingly


Security Risks - Data Security/Cyber Crimes

- maintaining a viable HR data system (HRIS) is important for employee, supervisor, and HR use
- planning for both equipment problems and cyber-attacks is something HR professionals bust contribute to and sometimes take the lead in managing


Security Risks - Hacker Theft

- HRIS data contains social security numbers, home addresses, names and ages of dependents, employee banking information used for direct deposit, etc.
- when an unauthorized person gains access to that level of sensitive data, there needs to be a rapid response to help employees protect themselves and their families
- a relatively new problem in the area of cyber-crime is the problem of hackers holding your data hostage; they corrupt your computer disk so that you cannot access or retrieve your data if you don't agree to pay them a fee to unlock your computer


Security Risks - Employee Cyber-THeft

- disgruntled employees sometimes head for the company's databases with an eye to stealing proprietary information on products or services
- an HR professional's first duty is to plan for such problems and create plans to prevent them from happening
- the second duty is to determine how to respond once a theft has occurred
- HR usually plays a lead role in planning and implementing these plans and policies


Security Risks - Inventory and Supply Security

- HR professionals need to work with operations managers and supervisors who have primary oversight of raw materials and product inventories and identify the risks they face and how those risks can be mitigated
- then, there should be attention paid to how the organization will respond if such a theft should occur


Security Risks - Equipment Security

- HR department computer equipment expands with the size of the organization; the more there is, the greater the investment that must be made to replace the equipment should it be stolen


Security Risks - Theft Prevention/Loss Prevention

- HR professionals have roles to play in loss prevention, whether or not there is an independent department assigned to address those issues


Security Risks - Employee Theft

- when individuals have a predilection to stealing, they likely have a record showing they have been in trouble for such behavior in the past
- background checks should be able to unveil the record so it can be assessed and the job candidate rejected from further consideration if that is appropriate


Security Risks - Customer Theft

- HR professionals are involved with policy development and implementation coordination with operations departments and other staff organizations
- the tasks HR may be involved with can include investigation of complaints about management treatment, investigation of policy violations, and training for employees on policy requirements


Security Risks - Preventing Equipment Damage

- HR professionals can play a preventative role by properly training employees in requirements of organizational policies and investigating employee complaints of unfair or illegal treatment
- feedback to the complaining employee is critical so the communication cycle is fulfilled


Security Risks - Securing Passwords

- HR professionals can help the organization with securing passwords by reviewing and training employees on the policy requirements
- HR can also maintain a master log of passwords issued to each employee for the software access each person needs


Security Risks - Terrorism

- a key method for identifying situations that can involve terrorism is through employee involvement
- employee alerts to a central processing group (text message, voice call, or email message) can start the wheels turning to respond and save injury and damage
- training employees in the policies for handling such incidents and how to report them is often an HR responsibility


Report Processing

- HR used to be personnel, had little to do with policy; it was a paper-handling group of people that took work off the shoulders of operations supervisors
- HR evolved within organizations, taking on more and more strategic importance


Workers' Compensation

- tightly regulated by state governments
- states govern reporting of workplace accidents and follow the treatment for each injured worker from beginning to end
- dictates how much will be paid for treatment and for how long


Workers' Compensation EXAM TIP

- every employer is required to have workers' compensation insurance; even though the rules governing workers' compensation are generated by each state, you can expect there will be some questions on the exam about this topic


Return-to-Work Policies

- it is almost never up to the employer how early somoen can return to work; that is governed by medical evaluators; but employers can overlay policies about the conditions under which a person can return to work


Return-to-Work Policies: Modified-Duty Assignments

- employers can determine their own policy about their ability to have someone working without restrictions
- any decisions about return-to-work issues should be properly documented to show both the decision and why that decision was best for the circumstances
- employers may not arbitrarily block someone from returning to work without a legitimate business explanation


Return-to-Work Policies: Reasonable Accommodation

- involves the same obligations that any other job accommodation request would impose on the employer
- the employer must be willing to engage in an interactive dialogue process with the employee about the medical restrictions and how the job can be performed with those restrictions
- safety is one reason for rejecting a job accommodation request


Return-to-Work Policies: Independent Medical Exam

- often, medical advisers on which a workers' compensation case will rely are those hired by the insurance carrier
- at any time, the employer and/or the employee can choose to involve different medical people for additional opinions (they will come at the expense of the party requesting the additional opinion)
- when medical opinions clash, a decision must be made with concurrence of the workers' compensation insurance carrier, the employer, and the employee
- documentation by the HR organization will be essential in case the employee decides to contest his or her treatment in court
- early HR professionals play a key role in that documentation process, if not by writing it then by ensuring that appropriate parties submit it for the case file


OSHA Compliance - Workplace Safety Inspections

- even though a safety department may exist, it is still incumbent upon supervisors, managers, and HR professionals to support safety rules and policies


OSHA Compliance - Accident Reporting

- accidents that require only first aid are not reportable under OSHA regulations


OSHA first aid definition

- using nonprescription medication at nonprescription strength
- administering tetanus immunizations; cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin
- using wound coverages such as bandages, Band-Aids, gauze pads, etc.
- using hot or cold therapy
- using nonrigid means of support, including elastic bandages, wraps, nonrigid black belts, etc.
- using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim; drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure; draining fluid from a blister
- using eye patches
- removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab
- removing splinters or foreign material form areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs, or other simple means
- using finger guards
- using massages
- drinking fluids for relief of heat stress


OSHA recordable injury or illness

- any work-related fatality
- any work-related injury or illness that results in the loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job
- any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
- any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, and punctured eardrums
- also special recording criteria for work-related cases involving needlesticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis


OSHA Incident Reports

- forms for tracking injuries and illnesses, and then summarizing the totals at the end of the year
- 301: name, address, birth date, hire date, who the attending medical provider was, what happened, what the employee was doing just before getting injured
- retain for minimum 5 years


OSHA Annual Accident Summary

- Form 300: log of incidents that happened during the year
- Form 300A: summary of 300 that must be posted in a conspicuous location within the workplace from Feb. 1 - April 30 each year (no personally identifiable information)
- retain for 300A for minimum 5 years


Employee Wellness Programs

- return on investment (ROI) of $1-3 for every $1 spent on employee wellness programs


Basic Elements of Employee Wellness Programs

- health screenings
- health risk assessments
- healthcare coaches or advocates


Federal Requirements for Wellness Programs Governed by 3 Laws

- ERISA prohibits discrimination by group health plans based on individuals health status; makes exceptions for wellness programs to offer premium or cost-sharing discounts based on an individual's health status in certain circumstances
- ADA prohibits employment discrimination based on health status and generally forbits employers from inquiring about workers' health status, but makes an exception for medical inquiries that are conducted as part of voluntary wellness programs
- GINA prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information and forbids employers frmo asking about individuals' genetic informationm including information about family members' health status or family history; allows an exception for inquiries through voluntary wellness program


Employee Wellness Programs As Part of Medical Coverage

- insurance will pay for things such as gym memberships, nutritional education, and smoking cessation


Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

- formal, structured programs that tap into third-party organizations that are staffed by health management experts
- used for both mental and physical issues
- call 24/7, EAP adviser qualified to dispense counseling and connect the employee to additional resources
- no limit to the number of times an employee can use the EAP advisers
- focus is early intervention in health issues before they become debilitating to the employee



- employers have been paying more attention to these needs and allocating budget dollars to help assure the work environment is contributing to employee wellness
- there are ways to reduce the risk of injury by assessing the ergonomic requirements of the job assignment
- musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are caused by repetitive use of fingers, hands, arms, legs, and back
- identifying the body part impacted by a given job can help determine whether there are ways to redesign a job so those impacts can be reduced or eliminated
- controlling costs that rise with employee absenteeism and medical treatment expense to another goal of ergonomic programs