Thursday, February 27, 2014

Worker Safety In Hospitals: Well-known Hazards

Most injuries result from a few well-known hazards.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects detailed data on injuries resulting in days away from work, which reveal the major causes and effects.

Top 5 Causes of Injury Among Hospital Workers

48% - Overexertion and bodily reaction
25% - Slips, trips, and falls
13% - Contact with objects
9% -   Violence
4% -   Exposure to substances

Nearly half (48 percent) of injuries resulting in days away from work are caused by overexertion or bodily reaction, which includes motions such as lifting, bending, or reaching. These motions often relate to patient handling.

Sprains and strains account for 54 percent of injuries that result in days away from work.1 Strains also account for the largest share of workers’ compensation claim costs for hospitals.2 In 2011, U.S. hospitals reported 16,680 cases in which workers missed work due to a musculoskeletal injury associated with patient interactions.1 Nurses and nursing assistants each accounted for a substantial share of the total. Because most
musculoskeletal injuries in the hospital setting are cumulative, any steps to minimize risks during patient handling tasks will offer substantial benefits for hospital caregivers.

Hospital Injuries Resulting in Days Away from Work, by Type

54% - Sprains and strains
11% - Bruises
10% - Soreness/pain
5%  -  Fractures
3%  -  Multiple trauma
3%  -  Cuts and punctures
14% - All other injuries

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