With this year’s theme of “promotion of occupational safety and health in a green economy”, the International Day for Health and Safety at Work provides nurses a great opportunity to advocate and promote green initiatives at our places of work. (Read more…)
The health care industry produces more than 2.4 million tons of waste each year and is one of the largest consumers of energy in many communities (Sattler B & Hall K 2007). As with other service industries hospitals occupy large, complex buildings surrounded by concrete and asphalt surfaces; they use high-volume food services, laundry, high-speed transportation, and paper, packaging and disposable supplies (Jameton A & Pierce J 2001).
Nurses have been concerned about the environment since the time of Florence Nightingale who wrote in her Notes on Nursing of the importance of clean air and clean water. Since then, nurses have been involved in promoting healthy environments for health care, including safe waste disposal, efficient energy use and environmentally responsible policies. As patient advocates and a key member of health teams worldwide, nurses are well positioned to advocate for environmentally friendly workplaces.
Relevant ICN publications and web links:
- ICN Fact sheets on Occupational Health and Safety: www.icn.ch/publications/occupational-health-and-safety/
- Climate and Health Press Release
- Durban Declaration on Climate and Health
- Durban Global Climate and Health Call to Action
- ICN Guidelines on Coping with violence in the workplace
- ICN Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety Management Programme for Nurses
- ICN Position Statement on Occupational health and safety for nurses
- ICN Position Statement on Abuse and violence against nursing personnel
- ICN Position Statement on Reducing the impact of HIV infection and AIDS on nursing and midwifery personnel
- Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Addressing Climate Change in Health Care Settings
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