Healthcare workers at higher risk of suffering a workplace injury

According to a recent U.S. Labor Department report, healthcare workers have some of the highest number of incidents of workplace injuries among all occupations. The report, based on 2013 statistics, indicates a slight decline in workplace injuries compared to 2012. According to the president of the National Council for Occupational Health and Safety, the decline in workplace injuries shows how important it is to continue pushing for higher standards for workplace safety.

Per the report, nurses' assistants have the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders, or MSD, caused by work-related back pain. Among all injuries and illnesses, this disorder is the cause for 33 percent of workers missing time on the job. Musculoskeletal disorder victims include laborers and freight workers, tractor-trailer drivers, janitors and registered nurses. A person suffering with MSD will have problems lifting or pushing. Repetitive motions can lead to pinched nerves, herniated discs, strains, pains, sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The president of NCOHS also stated that the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration does not have standards to give employers to prevent injuries falling under MSD, as they were removed during President George W. Bush's administration. Workplace injuries can impact a worker or family members emotionally and financially. It could get more complicated in the event of the worker needing long-term medical care. It can lead to unplanned medical expenses and lost wages. A worker has a legal right to seek financial assistance for an on-the-job injury, most often in the form of workers compensation benefits.

Source: Philly.com, "Study: Health-care staffers rank high for workplace injuries," Jane M. Von Bergen, Dec. 19, 2014

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