5273.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 4:45 PM

Abstract #13986

Work environment impact of pollution prevention interventions in hospitals

Margaret M. Quinn, ScD, CIH1, Howard C. Herman-Haase, MS, CIH2, Jamie Tessler, MPH1, Nadia Haiama, BS1, and Mary Sabolefski, BS1. (1) Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, (2) Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, (978)934-3259, Howard_Herman@uml.edu

In response to increasing pressure to reduce wastes, hospitals are beginning to practice pollution prevention (P2) by substituting polluting materials, medical products, and work practices with more environmentally sound ones. A hypothesis of this study was that changes in materials and practices to meet P2 goals could shift hazards to the work environment if P2 and occupational safety and health (OSH) are not evaluated together. The objectives of this study were to: 1) develop methods to assess the environmental and health and safety impact of P2 interventions and 2) evaluate the methods by applying them in three histology laboratories. An integrated assessment was developed by combining elements of existing P2 and OSH survey methods including P2 production process mapping, process hazard analysis, and job hazard analysis. Integrated workplace surveys and questionnaires were developed to assess OSH risks in five categories: safety, chemical, physical, and musculoskeletal hazards, and work organization. The integrated assessment then was conducted in three histology labs before the introduction of a P2 intervention. Working with personnel in the labs, a P2 target and a P2 intervention were identified and implemented. The integrated assessment was re-applied and the results of the pre- and post- intervention compared. It was found that P2 interventions in histology labs can shift hazards to the work environment if P2 and OHS are not evaluated together.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant in the session will be able to:

  1. Recognize that pollution prevention initiatives may effect occupational health and safety.
  2. Identify procedures to perform an intergated pollution prevention/occupational health and safety assessment.

Keywords: Assessments, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA