Ergonomic Risks to Healthcare Workers and Nurses
Data from more than 80 studies show that every year, 40-50% of nurses experience back injuries. Although OSHA recordable injury rates are decreasing in all industries in the United States, injury and illness rates remain higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing.
The cumulative weight that a nurse may have to lift within an 8 hour shift is equivalent to 1.8 tons (equivalent to a Subaru Forrester with a 600lb passenger) or 9 tons per week (equivalent to three F350 trucks with 4 passengers). However, this data is from 1997 so we would assume that the cumulative weight equivalent in the present day would be higher due to the trends in rising obesity, thus further increasing their risk for MDS’s and overexertion.
The bottom line is that the evidence shows there is no safe way to perform manual patient handling. Safe patient handling programs are a great place to start to reduce the risk of injury to healthcare employees. Contact us to find out how we can help improve the safety of your healthcare workers and the patients that they care for daily.