NIOSH System Now Tracks Sharps Injuries, Blood and Body Fluid Exposures in Healthcare

Published April 5, 2017

Two new modules for the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) will allow U.S. healthcare facilities to track sharps incidents and blood and body fluid exposures among healthcare workers on a free, voluntary basis. OHSN, a web-based injury and exposure monitoring system created by NIOSH researchers, allows participating healthcare facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect and track those injuries and exposures over time. The system is intended to help identify job titles at the highest risk for injury in their own facility and develop interventions for the health and safety of hospital workers. Other modules monitor patient-handling injuries, workplace violence, and slips, trips, and falls. According to the developers of OHSN, facilities from 20 different states currently provide data to the secure web-based portal.

“Members can use OHSN to analyze and report workplace-specific data to illustrate the magnitude of injury and illness events among workers, monitor the trends, and gain access to a library of resources specific to the healthcare sector,” NIOSH says.

The agency is encouraging other healthcare facilities to enroll in OHSN. With a larger sample size of facilities using the system, “an increasingly more accurate picture can be drawn, and recommendations, interventions and prevention strategies utilized,” NIOSH notes.

More information on OHSN is available on NIOSH’s website.