Importance of Safety

EVERYONE is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and secure work area. There are no exceptions. That is why OSHA requires that “at-risk” funeral firm personnel attend safety training sessions annually designed to protect their health and the health of others.

Individuals need to:

  • Be knowledgeable about the types of bloodborne pathogens encountered in most funeral home prep rooms.
  • Fully understand proven methods to reduce exposure risks.
  • Be aware of the proper use of personal protection equipment.

Who is considered an “at-risk” employee?

All full- and part-time employees, workers, outside contractors and anyone that comes into contact with chemicals and deceased human remains in their course of employment at a funeral firm.

“At-risk” positions include:

  • Funeral directors, embalmers, interns, trade people, removal personnel, and morgue attendants.
  • Hairdressers, cosmetologists, housekeepers, and maintenance personnel. 
  • Individuals who handle, prepare and/or disinfect remains (sanitary care) or who perform religious ritual care or cleansing. 
  • Individuals who handle, or come in contact with remains, medical waste and embalming chemicals, no matter how minimal.  
  • Individuals who enter a prep room, no matter how briefly or for whatever reason.

Additionally, OSHA annual training is a “must attend” for funeral home OSHA compliance officers, managers, owners and anyone who maintains the funeral home’s written communication plan, trains new and continuing employees on-site and advises other staff members on compliance issues.