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Lifting patients a common cause of injury in health care

When you earn your living working as a nurse in California, you encounter numerous job-related hazards due to the nature of your profession and work environment. Some of the health risks you face are the result of working around ill patients. However, many people in your line of work experience significant, potentially life-changing injuries due to the heavy lifting involved in many health care positions.

Per Health Leaders Media, if you work in health care in a hospital environment, then the work-related injury rate in your profession is almost double that of workers in other private sectors.

How common lifting injuries are

Lifting injuries in hospitals and other health care environments have become so common that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration now maintains an entire website dedicated to lift-related injuries and how to help prevent them. Research shows that 75 lifting-related injuries occur in health care for every 10,000 employees who work in hospitals full-time. The injury rate is even higher in nursing homes and other residential facilities. In these settings, workers experience 107 such injuries for every 100,000 health care workers employed there full-time.

How to help prevent lifting injuries

Some health care employers encourage their staff members to lift patients together, as a team, to reduce the strain on individual bodies. Yet, many health care workers say this is unrealistic due to staffing issues. Some hospitals have purchased lift-assistance equipment that does much of the hard labor for health care workers. However, the cost of lift-assistance equipment places it out of reach for many health care employers.

As the number of older adults needing lift assistance continues to grow, the number of health care workers suffering injuries caused by lifting is likely to continue to grow alongside it.