Risk of Physical Injury to Workers at Nursing Homes

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There are several expenses involved in running a successful nursing home and costs for on-the-job injuries often reflects a significant portion of those operating expenditures. For clients tasked with managing injuries to staff and workers, following proper procedures can lead to better overall results.

In fact, studies show that nursing home facilities tend to have employee injury rates that are greater than other businesses with similarly sized staffs, and back injuries are a major contributor to claims occurring against these institutions. Workers, whose main job is lifting and moving patients, receive these types of injuries with alarming frequency. It’s imperative for owners to sit down with a workers compensation insurance broker and determine which plan will best address these concerns.

Other risk factors faced by workers in nursing homes

Slips, trips, and falls, which often involve a failure to quickly clean up spills, repetition issues, such as performing the same motion continually or frequently, and assuming positions that place undue stress on the body, are just some of the concerns that lead to claims of workplace injuries. Employers should try to develop some stringent safety programs, and assign responsibilities to designated staff members to achieve these goals while providing the necessary resources.

According to OSHA, excessive exposure to certain risk factors can result in a variety of disorders in affected individuals. These conditions, known as musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, include lower back pain, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, epicondylitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. OSHA has guidelines for nursing home clients to help minimize work-related musculoskeletal disorders in order to keep employees safe at these facilities.

Employees should work to avoid workplace injuries

Having workers help with hazard identification assistance will help to enhance worker motivation and job satisfaction, leading to greater acceptance of changes made in the work environment. Employees can also submit suggestions and voice any concerns, participate in the design of work areas, procedures, and training, help evaluate equipment and respond to employee surveys.

Nursing homes need to take time to recognize problems and establish methods for identifying ergonomics concerns. Information about when and where problems may occur in nursing homes can be obtained from a variety of sources. Once information is obtained it can be used to identify and evaluate elements of those jobs and reduce the number of injuries occurring. Before the situation becomes unmanageable, sit down with a workers compensation insurance broker to get the protection those employees deserve.