Health care workers, like other professionals face their share of risks at work. In fact, studies show that hospitals are some of the riskiest workplaces.
Health care work can just be as physically demanding as a construction job or another form of physical labor — and too many medical facilities fail to take measures that could reduce injuries among their staff.
What could hospitals, nursing homes and clinics do to make the workplace safer for their employees? Consider these:
Most health care facilities are understaffed. As a result, health care workers often find themselves overworked and exposed to fatigue-related injuries. Long and irregular shift schedules coupled with physically demanding work take a huge toll on the healthcare providers’ bodies and minds.
By staffing the hospitals adequately, health care workers can get adequate time to rest, and this can significantly reduce the risk of fatigue-related injuries in the workplace.
According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), nearly 48% of health care workers’ injuries result from overexertion. Handling patients during medical procedures or routine chores like bathing can result in musculoskeletal injuries as well as back strains. The need to pull or push equipment can also result in injuries. Hospitals can protect their workers from potential injuries by providing the following:
- Portable lifts for easy movement or transfer of patients from one position to the next
- Transfer sheets
- Proper waste disposal facilities to minimize cases of infections
- A designated team of caregivers with proper training to safely lift patients.
Health care workers provide vital care to patients throughout California. Unfortunately, their workplaces are not the safest. If you’re a medical worker who has suffered an injury at work and your claim for benefits isn’t going as you expect, it may be time to seek experienced assistance.