Nurses and other healthcare workers face many safety and health hazards in their work environments. In fact, healthcare workers experience some of the highest rates of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses of any industry sector.
In 2012, injuries and illnesses reported for nursing and residential care workers were significantly higher than those in construction, and 2-3 times higher than in retail or manufacturing. Almost half of the injuries and illnesses reported for nurses and nursing support staff were musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Rates of MSDs for nursing assistants (225.8) were almost four times as high as the average for all workers (37.8).
MSDs affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back) are a leading cause of lost workday injuries and illnesses for healthcare and social assistance workers, particularly in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Examples of MSDs include muscle strains and low back injuries, rotator cuff injuries (shoulder problems), and tendinitis.
Research has identified that the risk factors for MSDs include the repeated and forceful movements associated with patient care such as lifting, transferring, and repositioning.
Click here to download OSHA’s new brochure that addresses the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders among nursing home and residential care workers. The brochure also explains the benefits of implementing safe patient handling programs.
SOURCE: New OSHA resource aims to help reduce injuries among workers in
the nursing home and residential care industries https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=26217