Health care/social assistance

NIOSH: Nurses, nurse assistants most at risk for injuries in health care industry


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Cincinnati – Nurses and nurse assistants experience the most workplace injuries among health care workers, and measures are needed to protect them, recent research from NIOSH indicates.

The institute examined information gathered by the Occupational Health Safety Network from 112 health care facilities from 2012 to Sept. 30, 2014. In three categories of OSHA-recordable injuries, incidence rates were 11.3 per 10,000 worker-months for patient handling; 9.6 for slips, trips and falls; and 4.9 for workplace violence.

Nurse assistants had more than double the injury rate of nurses due to patient handling and violence.

Injuries from violence rose for all jobs and almost doubled among nurse assistants and nurses. Lifting equipment was not used in 51 percent of patient-handling injuries – interventions such as lifting equipment could help prevent injuries, the report concludes. Facilities also could develop a safety culture that focuses on improvement and provide resources such as training for safe patient handling.

The study was published in the April 24 edition of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.