When you make your living working as a nurse or another type of health care worker in Illinois, lifting and moving patients may be a regular occurrence. Yet, for many health care workers, lifting patients leads to back pain and serious injuries. Some of these injuries have the potential to cause them pain and distress for the rest of their lives.
According to Health Leaders Media, as a health care worker, you face an on-the-job injury rate that is twice as high as that seen throughout all other private sector positions. Lifting-related injuries are particularly widespread and problematic in your line of work.
How often lifting-related injuries occur in health care
Research shows that there are 75 lifting-related injuries suffered for every 10,000 hospital workers employed full-time. The lifting-related injury rate is even higher among health care workers employed in nursing homes, with these individuals suffering 107 such injuries for every 10,000 of them employed full-time.
How to help prevent lifting-related injuries in health care
Some hospitals, nursing homes and other health care environments encourage their workers to partake in team lifting to help disperse the weight of a patient and reduce the strain on a health care worker’s body. Yet, staffing issues make team-lifting difficult in many work environments. When budget allows, some health care employers are buying lift-assistance equipment designed to make moving patients easier and less dangerous.
Lifting-related injuries have become so prevalent in health care that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration now has a website devoted to helping workers and employers reduce and prevent them.