OSHA aims to reduce workplace injuries in health care industry

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The very men and women who work to keep others healthy are wagering more than they can afford: their health. Over the last few years, a swath of research on the hazards of nursing brings to light just how severe the issue is. 

The cost of saving lives 
In 2013, hospitals across the U.S. recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries, equating to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees, as stated in a press release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Hospitals across the U.S. recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries. Hospitals across the U.S. recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries.

A story that's part of the NPR series "Injured Nurses" pointed out that even when using proper techniques, nurses are still prone to spine injuries. Strategies being taught in nursing school have led to herniated disks, subsequent surgeries and hospital visits. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"OSHA plans to expand hospital and nursing home inspections."

Nurses must also mitigate violent situations, watch out for incorrectly disposed needles and chemicals, and find time to exercise and eat healthy outside of work. Clearly there can't be one solution to all of these mounting problems. However, a press release from OSHA may provide a modicum of hope for those who work in this rigorous field. 

OSHA expands inspections 
In July, OSHA announced that it was going to crack down on work-related injuries across the nation. According to a press release, the organization plans to expand hospital and nursing home facility inspections by putting a greater emphasis on musculoskeletal disorders, workplace violence, tuberculosis, bloodborne pathogens and slips, trips and falls.

"Workers who take care of us when we're sick or hurt should not be at such high risk for injuries – that simply isn't 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. "OSHA has provided employers with education, training and resource materials, and it's time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers."

In the interim, hospitals can gear up for these inspections by tightening existing policies. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that a slips, trips and falls policy, which specifies both worker and employer responsibilities, may reduce work-related injuries. Visit Shoes For Crews to learn more about its slip-resistant footwear options for men and women

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