The Sustainable Hospitals Program (SHP) was initiated at the UMass Lowell in 1998 to help the healthcare industry select products and practices that reduce occupational and environmental hazards, maintain quality patient care, and contain costs. Funding was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health grant 5R01OH03744 and by the United States Environment Protection Agency Cooperative Agreement Number 83415501 and Assistance Agreement X9-98176701.
The SHP developed a team-based approach that integrates pollution prevention with occupational safety and health, referred to as “P2OSH”; it is the foundation upon which all of our work is based. This approach recognizes that pollution prevention solutions could inadvertently introduce new occupational safety and health problems, and vice versa (for example, paper recycling provides an environmental benefit, but using large recycling bins can introduce an occupational hazard—back injuries). The integration of environmental and occupational perspectives yields sound, sustainable practices. At the same time, the team approach brings diverse perspectives of members from various departments, facilitating innovative solutions and greater buy-in to changes in practices and products.
For more information, contact Catherine Galligan, Program Manager, 978-934-3386, SafeHomeCare@uml.edu.