Why hospital decontamination operations are over-complicated due to myths regarding OSHA requirements and other unnecessary practices taught by well-intentioned programs and instructors. Examples of topics and common questions:
1- Is containing decontamination run-off required by EPA or other regulations ?
2- Does OSHA allow untrained employees to assist as “support personnel” ?
3- Is a PAPR necessary for all chemical contamination incidents ?
4- Is medical surveillance required for 1st Receivers prior to donning PPE ?
5- Should water be used on victims contaminated by water-reactive chemicals ?
6- Does OSHA really establish minimum training hours for 1st Receivers ?
7- Do containment pools used by 1st Receivers help to prevent secondary contamination or contribute to it ?
8- Does the 4-step decontamination process used in decon shelters help to prevent further contamination of the patients, or does it increase the danger ?
Most hospital decontamination operations can be simplified by knowing the “Realities” and dispelling the “Myths”. OSHA, EPA, Government, and other regulations and documents with be presented to verify the information provided. Facts not opinions.
Joe Burgess Sr. began his career in 1970 in R.I. He was Chief of a Municipal Fire Department before his retirement where he was on the State Bomb Squad and help to organize the first multi-agency hazardous materials response team in New England. He started Burgess & Associates Hot Zone USA over 30 years ago and has trained and equipped hundreds of hospitals and industries in hazmat operations and decontamination. His son Joey Jr is the now the CEO of Hot Zone and Joe Sr. is a consultant.