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Does your workplace culture help protect you from hepatitis?

Categories: Bloodborne pathogens, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Health care, Women

May 19, 2013, is Hepatitis Testing Day. Health care workers are at risk of contracting hepatitis B and C in the workplace. Doctors, nurses, and other staff are predominately exposed to these devastating diseases through needle sticks and other sharps injuries or when fluids from patients splash onto their eyes, nose, or mouth. Hepatitis B and C are life-changing infections, but they can be avoided in many cases. Improved processes and safer equipment are essential. The procedures and equipment used are a reflection of an organization’s safety culture.

A strong safety culture demonstrates a high level of commitment from both managers and employees to a healthy work environment.

What does your workplace do to support a safe work environment? What practices seem to be most effective? Do you do anything innovative at your organization to influence attitudes and behaviors related to safety?

At NIOSH, we have Stop Sticks materials on:

We are interested in hearing about what works (or doesn’t) in real-world settings. Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.

Thomas Cunningham, PhD, and Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA

Dr. Cunningham is a behavioral scientist in the NIOSH Education and Information Department and the assistant coordinator for the NIOSH Small Business Assistance and Outreach Program.

Mr. Burnett is a health communications fellow in the NIOSH Communications and Research Translation Office.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. May 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm ET  -   Marelli

    We are a shoe company in Indonesia, we have thousands of employees. almost every week of our employees went to the doctor, first a little, then a couple of employees who have the same disease. After we report to our manager, said the laboratory result is that our employees are exposed to Hepatitis. We immediately took him to the hospital to be examined and we give social security. Initially we were not burdened with employees who have the disease. But several months ago a lot. and there are some employees who break a few weeks. We hope that our employees are able to work again. what are we waiting for tomorrow is a day of testing hepatitis
    Best regards
    Marelli

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  2. May 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm ET  -   etu

    Effective treatments are available for persons with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Some patients recover completely with treatment (including clearing the virus from their blood). However, the treatments may be prolonged, grueling and expensive, and not everyone responds. There is no question that either acute or chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C are serious infections that are far better prevented. An effective vaccine is available for prevention of hepatitis B and is recommended for workers at risk of needle-stick injuries. Prevention of hepatitis C depends on training, adherence to appropriate protocols, and environmental controls.

    Suggest deleting “untreatable and incurable” from line 4 (sentence 3)

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    • AUTHOR COMMENT May 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm ET  -   Tom Cunningham and Garrett Burnett

      Thank you for your insightful comment. We removed the word “incurable” from the post (“untreatable” was not in the blog), but as you emphasize, treatments can be grueling and prevention is the best medicine.

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  3. May 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm ET  -   Matthew R. Eason

    Another great blog by the CDC. I wish more employers paid attention to safety issues like this.

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  4. May 21, 2013 at 1:53 am ET  -   Dan Miah

    I am glad to read this post, now i think i have to do something in my workplace!

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  5. May 23, 2013 at 9:07 am ET  -   Peluang Bisnis Online

    In my workplace, we have a health insurance which can we use to do some medical check up to know if we suffer hepatitis or not. But for supporting a safe work environment, i think there is something that we should do for it. Thank you for the article.

    Link to this comment

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