Preventing and Controlling the Spread of Infections in Healthcare Workplaces

Uploaded by OntMinLabour on 30.03.2011

JUANITA: My name is Juanita Jenkin. I’m an Occupational Health and Safety Inspector
for the Ministry of Labour.
CRAIG: My name is Craig Lawrie. I’m an Infection Control Consultant with the Ministry of Labour
and today we’re going to look at the types of things that we look for related to infection
prevention and control during an inspection of a healthcare workplace.
JUANITA: The Ministry of Labour inspects healthcare workplaces to ensure that they are in compliance
with the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
CRAIG: We also work with our partners in the healthcare field such as the Regional Infection
Control Networks or the Ontario Agency for Health Protection Promotion, the Ministry
of Health and Long Term Care.
JUANITA: Upon entering a healthcare facility, the infection control measures that I’m
looking for may include signage, passive or active screening, and alcohol-based hand rub
so that people entering the facility have an opportunity to clean their hands.
JUANITA: When I arrive at a workplace to conduct an inspection, I want to meet with one of
the management representatives and also a worker representative from the Health and
Safety Committee.
Juanita: “The reason that we’re here today is we’re going to be conducting a proactive
inspection of your workplace.”
CRAIG: And, because we’re specifically looking at Infection Prevention Control issues, we
also like to talk to the Infection Control Practitioner at the workplace.
Craig: “Do you have a specific Infection Prevention and Control manual?”
Workers: “We do…”
CRAIG: It’s important that employers take steps to protect their workers from infections
by having certain measures and procedures developed in consultation with their Joint
Health & Safety Committee.
Juanita: “How often would you take a look at your measures and procedures and revise
JUANITA: Infection control measures and procedures for workers should be reviewed and revised
annually or more often in light of current practices.
Craig: “Are you aware of any occupational infections that have occurred amongst staff?”
CRAIG: If an employer learns that a worker is ill because of an exposure at a workplace,
it’s required that they report within four days to the Ministry of Labour but also to
their Joint Health & Safety Committee and their trade union at their workplace.
Worker: “If an infection happens we scan our surveillance, we call it, and they get
the information right away.”
JUANITA: Workers can protect themselves from infectious agents by doing a risk assessment.
Figuring out what the hazard is in their workplace and then following routine practices and additional
Craig: “I wonder if you can describe some of the training that occurs with respect to
infection control?”
JUANITA: In healthcare workplaces, all workers should receive training in infection prevention
and control.
Craig: “So supplies, such as gloves, or masks, or facial protection are available
to workers when they need it?” Worker: “Absolutely.”
CRAIG: For droplet spread infections, it’s important that a worker take certain precautions
to protect themselves such as facial protection that will include a mask and something to
protect their eyes.
CRAIG: An N95 respirator is worn when there’s a risk from airborne transmission. For workers
that are required to wear N95 respirators, it’s important that the employer has in
place a written respiratory protection program. And it will include things such as the training
on the donning and doffing of the respirator. It’s also important that the respirator
be fit-tested.
JUANITA: Sharps should be disposed of immediately after use in an appropriate, puncture-resistant
container. The container should not be filled past the fill line.
CRAIG: Safety-engineered needles are required to be used now by Ontario’s needle safety
regulation when they’re used in places such as long term care facilities or hospitals.
JUANITA: Food or drink should not be consumed in areas where there is a risk of contamination
by infectious agents.
CRAIG: A worker that has health and safety concerns at the workplace should bring their
concerns up with their supervisor or their employer.
Craig: “Can you tell me if the housekeepers are included in the Infection Prevention and
Control training that is given here?” Worker: “Everybody that works here…”
CRAIG: It’s important for everybody at the workplace to follow safe work practices because,
in this way, we can build a culture of safety at a workplace which is good for not only
the workers but also the residents, the patients, or anyone else that visits the workplace.
JUANITA: We want to ensure that there is a good workplace health and safety culture where
everyone is involved and informed.
JUANITA: For more information, please visit our website.
Please visit the website for more information:
Special Thanks: Providence Healthcare