Injury and Illness on Healthcare Workers
According to a recent Public Citizen Report, the healthcare workplace is one of the most common industries where injuries or illnesses occur, with 653,000 nurses, aides, orderlies and others, become injured or fall ill every year. Approximately 45 percent of all workplace incidents in the United States which result in lost workdays occur in the healthcare sector. Among attendants, orderlies, and nursing aides in a 2011 study, the incidence rate of injuries requiring days off work was 486 cases per 10,000 employees, over four times higher than the national average for all workers.
More musculoskeletal injuries are suffered by orderlies, attendants, nurses and nursing aides than workers in any other industry. Back injuries in the healthcare industry are estimated to cost over $7 billion every year.
Although healthcare workplaces are considered to have a higher risk of injury or illness than any other type of workplace, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) offers a few inspections of healthcare facilities. The authors of the report additionally explained that when OSHA does find safety problems, there’s often not much they can do as a result of the absence of much needed safety standards.
In 2010, there were 152,000 workplace injuries and illnesses in the manufacturing sector in comparison to a massive 653,000 in healthcare.
OSHA is attempting to better address the injury rates among nursing home workers with a National Emphasis Program (NEP), which will focus on addressing ergonomic stressors, falls, trips, slips, and workplace violence, as well as tuberculosis and blood borne pathogens. In conclusion, the report recommends for OSHA to considerably increase its number of inspections of healthcare facilities as well as pursue binding standards in order to ensure that workers are protected from the risks of developing musculoskeletal injuries and/or disorders and other types of threats that could greatly affect the overall wellbeing of healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers are constantly helping individuals with both their physical and emotional complications requiring medical attention. While patients are recovering from their injuries or illnesses, healthcare providers can occasionally experience issues at the workplace. In fact, injuries and illnesses among healthcare workplaces are relatively higher than those in other workplaces. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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