Health care/social assistance Injury prevention Musculoskeletal disorders

OSHA releases MSD-prevention brochure for nursing home workers

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Washington – A new OSHA brochure lays out how to implement a safe patient-handling program to help reduce or prevent musculoskeletal disorders among nursing home and residential care workers.

Nursing and residential care facilities experienced 237 injuries and illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers in 2012 – a rate more than double the manufacturing industry, according to OSHA. Nearly half the injuries were MSDs, the agency added.

The brochure lists the benefits of a safe patient-handling program – including reduced injury costs and fewer patient falls – as well as the elements OSHA believes are necessary for a successful program.

“Musculoskeletal injuries are the single biggest worker injury in the healthcare sector,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release. “This new resource will help make employers and workers aware of the activities that pose the greatest hazards to workers who care for residents in nursing homes and residential care industries and what can be done to decrease risks to these workers.”