Health Care Workers' Input on Hazardous Chemicals Sought

Results of the survey will help NIOSH better understand the extent to which health care workers may be exposed to chemical agents such as antineoplastic agents, anesthetic gases, surgical smoke, high-level disinfectants, chemical sterilants, and aerosolized medications.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invites health care personnel to participate voluntarily in an online survey about health and safety practices in working with hazardous chemicals on the job. The survey is open until March 26, 2011.

The voluntary survey can be accessed at www.niosh-healthcare-survey.org. Respondents will be asked for an organization key which is: HCWS. Individual responses will be kept confidential, and no personal identifiers will be recorded. The survey will take about 30 minutes to complete.

Results of the survey will help NIOSH better understand the extent to which health care workers may be exposed to chemical agents such as antineoplastic agents, anesthetic gases, surgical smoke, high-level disinfectants, chemical sterilants, and aerosolized medications, and the circumstances of potential exposures. Results will also help NIOSH to better learn and understand current practices for reducing potential exposures, to identify gaps in current knowledge about those practices, and to design further research in collaboration with our partners for addressing those gaps.

“Safeguarding health care workers from potential occupational hazards is an essential part of providing good jobs for these dedicated men and women, and of furthering high-quality patient care,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “We look forward to a robust voluntary response to this survey. The results will help NIOSH and its partners design next steps in the research essential for addressing the workplace health and safety needs of this important and growing U.S. workforce.”

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