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Eric Conn Quoted in Article, "Advocates Laud OSHA's Nursing, Residential Care NEP, Urge Wider Health Care Enforcement"

Inside OSHA, 4/12/2012

Eric Conn, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "Advocates Laud OSHA's Nursing, Residential Care NEP, Urge Wider Health Care Enforcement," written by Christopher Cole.

Following is an excerpt:

Health care worker advocates are generally praising OSHA's launch of a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for nursing and residential care facilities, saying the program is a needed step to address issues such as ergonomics and workplace violence, but also lodging persistent concerns that the agency has not reached more broadly into the health care sector.

Conn suggests the NEP will have a sweeping effect because of the inspector training involved in rolling out the directive. "Even though this NEP focuses on Nursing Homes, it will likely impact all employers in the healthcare industry, because the result will be a group of compliance officers across the country trained in the hazards and related OSHA standards that impact nursing homes, which happen also to be the same hazards and standards that impact hospitals, doctors' offices, and rehab centers," Conn says in an email.

"We saw the same thing in the chemical industry after the Petroleum Refinery PSM NEP got underway. OSHA suddenly had a much larger group of compliance officers who understand the PSM Standard, and knew what to look for in PSM covered processes," Conn says. "Even before the Chemical Facilities PSM NEP launched, chemical manufacturers were already seeing an increase in PSM enforcement because of the new pool of PSM-knowledgeable compliance officers created by the Refinery NEP."