According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, more workplace injuries happen in the health care realm than in any other industry. This has caused the agency to extend its National Emphasis Program on Nursing and Residential Care Facilities. OSHA may investigate residential care facilities and hospitals in North Carolina and other states to address the large number of nurses who get hurt while on the job.
An OSHA representative said that the agency will be targeting places that have injury and illness ratings above the industry average. Common dangers such as lifting patients have led to musculoskeletal disorders in nurses. Other common hazards include exposure to hazardous materials as well as slips, trips and falls.
OSHA claims that many injuries in the health care industry are preventable through feasible controls and restrictions. For example, risks from lifting patients could be avoided by using transfer slings and ceiling hoists. While the lifting that goes on in the health care industry is considered normal, those who work in the auto manufacturing industry may be prohibited from carrying more than 35 pounds. When the Veterans Health Administration started using moving equipment, injuries related to moving and lifting patients were reduced by 40 percent on average.
An employee could receive workers’ compensation benefits after falling victim to an on-the-job accident. This compensation may pay for the expenses a worker incurs when treating an injury or illness. It could also give an employee benefits if he or she is unable to return to work. The workers’ compensation process is not always straightforward or simple, so one may wish to contact an attorney when considering filing a claim.