health care worker back injuries

Health care worker back injuries are among the most commonly suffered injuries among those who work in the health industry. Health care workers are put through numerous tasks that put severe strain on their backs every day.

According to the CDC, over 18 million people are health care workers. Women workers are far more prevalent, representing 80% of the total workforce. There are many dangers that these workers are susceptible to including toxic exposure, sharp object and needle injuries, stress, latex allergies as well as workplace violence. The CDC identified that the highest number of injuries in the healthcare sector is that of nonfatal occupational injury illnesses.

What Are The Causes Of Healthcare Worker Back Injuries?

Here are some of the causes of employee back injuries in the healthcare industry.

  • Handling Patients – Most employees in the healthcare industry suffer serious back injuries when they attempt to lift patients who need to be relocated. Additionally, the same happens when they attempt to reposition bed-ridden patients. Currently, the number of morbidly obese and overweight patients has increased dramatically and as such injuries related to handling patients has increased to the healthcare workers.
  • Repetitive Stress – According to OSHA, healthcare workers are susceptible to suffering from orthopedic injuries compared to those in other industries. Orderlies, attendants and nursing aides have the highest risk of suffering from these injuries.
  • Sharp Injuries – Workers in the healthcare industry are required to handle sharp medical instruments such as needles that might cause puncture wounds and cuts. When this occurs, the shock can result in slipping and straining one’s back.
  • Workplace Violence – OSHA statistics reveal that healthcare workers have a high risk of being assaulted by patients on the job. That’s because they often receive mentally ill and violent criminals who are prone to violent outbursts, thus affecting the medical staff.
  • Slip And Fall Accidents – When liquids are spilled in a nursing home or hospital floor, the workers are susceptible to slip and fall hazards since they often walk or run around trying to tend to other patients.
  • Understaffing – Assisted living facilities and nursing homes often suffer from understaffing issues. It will definitely increase the risk of various types of injuries because of increased stress levels since workers are forced to work faster with very little or no resources.

Other Common Injuries Sustained By Health Care Workers

Some of the most common health care worker injuries in medical facilities include the following:

  1. Bone Fractures – These injuries occur because of slip and fall or tripping accidents as well as additional workplace violence. When transferring patients, healthcare workers are also prone to suffering from bone fractures.
  2. Head Injuries – Since there is a high risk of slip and fall accidents, healthcare workers are also susceptible to head injuries such as concussions.
  3. Neck Injuries – These jobs are physically demanding and as such healthcare workers are prone to suffering from debilitating neck injuries leaving these individuals with chronic disabilities and pain symptoms.
  4. Sprains And Strains – Whether from slip and falls or transferring bed ridden patients, healthcare workers might also suffer from strains and sprains.
  5. Herniated Disks – It occurs when the protective pads found between the spinal vertebrae bulge, rupture or split. The condition puts additional pressure on the spinal cord causing symptoms such as numbness, pain or weakness around damaged disks.
  6. Infectious Diseases – Since healthcare workers come into contact with infected patients when treating them or dressing their wounds. These patients might suffer from various conditions including infectious diseases. If not handled properly, healthcare workers have a high susceptibility of suffering from the same.

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