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Hazardous drugs and health care workplaces

Medications are a major part of the health care industry. There are a great many different types of drugs that may be present in health care workplaces, like hospitals and health clinics.

Different drugs can raise different concerns. Some raise worker safety concerns. The federal government puts out a list of drugs that could put health care workers at risk of harm. This list, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is called the List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings.

Occasionally, this list is given an update. Recently, such an update occurred. One of the things the update did was put 34 additional drugs on the list.

The update also made some revisions to the recommended safety practices regarding the use of medications in health care settings.

It is important for businesses in the health care industry to be aware of which of the drugs they use in their patient care could pose risks to their own workers and other workers and to take measures to address these risks in a proper manner. Failure to do so could lead to unfortunate incidents that could put a health care organization in a difficult legal situation. For example, if a worker other than one of the facility's own employees is hurt as a result to exposure a hazardous medication at a health care facility, the facility could potentially face a lawsuit. Experienced attorneys can advise health care companies facing personal injury claims in relation to worker exposures to potentially hazardous drugs on their defense options.

Source: Safety+Health, “NIOSH updates list of hazardous drugs for health care workers,” Oct. 10, 2016

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