Safety

Q&A: PPE success during the COVID-19 pandemic

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, August 23, 2020

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

by John Palmer

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in our sister publication, PSQH.

It’s not an understatement to say that most people who work in healthcare organizations long for the days when just getting their workers to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) was the biggest issue.

Times have changed, of course, in the new normal brought on by COVID-19. Where hospitals were once coached by safety professionals to ensure they had enough PPE stockpiled, they are now begging the U.S. government to share PPE from the stockpile. Once upon a time, workers were told to use their surgical masks only once. Today, those masks get put into a bag at the end of a shift and used the next day—and maybe the day after that.

Some communities have brought in huge PPE cleaning machines that can disinfect thousands of masks in one sitting, while other healthcare workers have turned to procuring their own masks, gloves, and respirators from painting suppliers and home improvement stores. It’s become a free-for-all in some places.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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