Occupational or workplace exposures occur when members work with or around chemical, biological, and physical hazards in the workplace that can cause an adverse health effect such as an acute or chronic illness, or death.
Frontline healthcare workers encounter a wide variety of chemical, physical, and biological hazards in their work. These include:
In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, where there is a risk of exposure to a chemical, biological or physical hazard, the employer has a responsibility to eliminate the exposure, or control it below harmful levels, and implement exposure control plans (ECPs). ECPs document the risks, and measures to eliminate or minimize them. Plans also include provisions for education of workers, written work procedures, hygiene facilities, and health monitoring. All of this is to be done in consultation with the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees.
Thanks to effective campaigning and lobbying by BCNU members and others, the rules to protect against a number of
workplace exposures have improved. For example,
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation:
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British Columbia Nurses' Union, 4060 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC V5C 6P5
Phone: 604-433-2268 or 1-800-663-9991
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