Skip to main content

๐Ÿ“Œ CLINIC NEWS & UPDATES: ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿฝ

Injuries and Illnesses on Healthcare Workplaces

Injuries and Illnesses on Healthcare Workplaces - El Paso Chiropractor
For Questions Call/Text Dr. Jimenez Personally @ 915-540-8444 or Contact Us @ 915-850-0900

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.

Dr. L. Toni Lewis, chair of the health care division of the Service Employees International Union, which advised Public Citizen on the report, stated, “Most Americans are not aware that hospitals and other medical facilities are actually the most frequent site for workplace injuries. This is an issue that affects so many frontline workers and their patients – nurses, CNAs, radiologists, physical therapists – women and men who are trying to meet the needs of their patients safely and effectively. The current patchwork approach is not working for workers.”

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. Co-author, Keith Wrightson, a worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen stated, “OSHA is required by law to ensure safe conditions for every employee in the United States. The record is clear that the government has broken its promise to healthcare workers.”

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. However, the National Emphasis Program does not cover healthcare settings, not even hospitals, where injury rates are considered to be relatively high. Because there are no distinct standards for ergonomic safety in the healthcare industry, OSHA must depend on its “general duty clause” to distribute citations for unsafe working conditions.

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.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez



Today's Chiropractic

Trending: Back Pain Insights

Location Near You

MEET THE STAFF