Safety and health managers in healthcare face a challenge when it comes to administering Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization(JCAHO) and OSHA safety and health compliance programs.
Some of the differences are listed below:
JCAHO does not issue monetary fines. OSHA may issue monetary fines.
A non-compliant review by JCAHO may lead to non-accreditation. Failure to comply with OSHA standards usually leads to citations which may include monetary fines.
JCAHO may perform "unannounced" inspections but not always. The majority of OSHA inspections are unannounced.
JCAHO requires written follow-up reports. OSHA requires a written plan of action.
JCAHO requires written policies and procedures. OSHA may require written safety and health plans and procedures.
JCAHO addresses the Life Safety Code. OSHA requires emergency and fire protection plans.
Passing a JCAHO inspection does not mean passing an OSHA inspection. OSHA standards help meet the goals of JCAHO EC standards. Employees must have access to both sets of standards. Meeting both sets of standards requires support from top management and requires funding and staff allotment. Both sets of standards can be administered by the same trained and competent employees. Use what you can of both and add to it.
JCAHO and OSHA complement each other. They do not mutually exclude each other.