most common healthcare worker injuries

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that health care is the most rapidly growing sector within the U.S. economy, and employs over 18 million workers. The health care work force in the U.S. is nearly 80 percent women.

There are numerous dangers that health care workers are faced with including potential workplace violence, stress, latex allergies, back injuries, fires, toxic exposure and injuries. The CDC found that nonfatal occupational injury illness cases for healthcare workers are among the highest for any industry sector.

What Causes Health Care Worker Injuries?

Within the healthcare field, the following are some of the major causes of injuries:

– Patient handling: Many workers sustain serious injuries whenever they trying to lift patients manually who need to be moved into a different location or bed-ridden patients who need to be repositioned. Injuries related to handling patients have risen exponentially along with the increase in morbidly obese and obese patients.

– Repetitive stress: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that health care workers are over seven times likely to suffer from orthopedic injuries as are other workers. Nursing orderlies, attendants and aides are in fact are at the highest risk for suffering from these kinds of injuries.

– Sharp injuries: Quite often health care workers are required to handle sharp medical instruments and needles that might cause puncture wounds or cuts.

– Workplace violence: It has also been reported by OSHA that health care workers might face an increase risk for being assaulted at work. Hospital workers might be in danger due to caring for the mentally ill or violent criminals.

– Slip-and-fall accidents: Whenever liquids get spilled on a nursing home or hospital floor, it poses a very serious risk for a slip-and-fall accident, especially for health care workers.

– Understaffing: In assisted living facilities and nursing homes this is a very chronic problem. It might increase the risk for many kinds of injuries due too the increased levels of stress and pressure to do more with less and work faster.

Most Common Healthcare Worker Injuries in California

Some of the more frequent healthcare worker injuries that are sustained in a nursing home or hospital setting include the following:

Bone fractures: Quite often broken bone injuries are caused by trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall accidents, as well as workplace violence incidents. A bone fracture might also occur as a patient is being transferred by a health care worker.

Head injuries: Another risk faced by health care workers is suffering from traumatic brain injuries such as a concussion from a fall.

Back and neck injuries: These jobs have such as a physically demanding nature to them that they increase the risk for debilitating back and neck injuries that might leave a person with disabilities and chronic pain.

Strains and Sprains: According to OSHA, among health care workers these types of injuries are the most commonly reported.

Herniated disk: A slipped or herniated disk is whenever the protective pads in between the spine’s bones might rupture, split or bulge. That might result in pressure being placed on the spinal cord which causes symptoms like weakness, numbness or pain around a disk that is damaged.

Infectious disease: Managing bodily fluids as well as being in contact with infected patients when treating or dress them increases risk for spreading diseases significantly, including serious diseases like Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDs.

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