OSHA recently expanded the list of hazards inspectors will address while evaluating hospitals and nursing homes.
The new hazards include: musculoskeletal disorders related to patient handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis; and slips, trips and falls.
The more directed focus is an effort to reduce the number of work-related injuries and illnesses in the healthcare industry. In U.S. hospitals alone, in 2013 there were nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, or a 6.4 incidence rate – nearly double that of private industry.
"Workers who take care of us when we are sick or hurt should not be at such high risk for injuries — that simply is not right. Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have work injury and illness rates that are among the highest in the country, and virtually all of these injuries and illnesses are preventable," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
The following infographic – created by Intelex, an EHS and quality software developer – provides information on how ergonomic hazards affect the healthcare industry.