Physician Practice

Chemical and radiological hazards

Medical Environment Update, December 7, 2019

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by John Palmer

Healthcare workers face several kinds of workplace hazards every day, but no other danger has the potential to maim and kill the way that chemical and radiological hazards do.

They lurk in medical clinics, taken for granted—a spilled caustic agent in the eyes or on the skin, potentially cancerous glutaraldehyde from tissue specimens in the laboratory, or the long-term effects of exposure to diagnostic x-rays. Without protection, healthcare workers can suffer lifelong injuries that can take years to manifest (cancer) or rapidly manifest in terrible injuries such as severe burns and blindness.

These are hazards that workers train for and wear PPE to minimize—or at least they should. In addition, OSHA provides many training resources and educational information to help mitigate hazards.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Medical Environment Update.

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