NPR reports that according to statistics from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor, nursing employees sustain over 35,000 back and other injuries each year. These injuries are serious enough that they warrant taking time off from work.
Nursing employees are also three times more likely than construction laborers to suffer musculoskeletal injuries. Registered nurses aren’t far behind after warehouse workers, truck drivers, and store clerks.
The main causes of these injuries are the duties of lifting and moving patients, which nursing employees do every day. During a typical day, a worker might lift a patient weighing much more than the employee at least a dozen times a day. This may lead to back pain, sprains, strains, and shoulder injuries.
One reason for the injury risk is that there is no way to safely lift a patient manually. While some hospitals have sought to remedy this hazard with special machinery lifts and intensive staff training, most medical facilities have not taken such measures.
As an injured nursing employee, you are likely entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. It doesn’t matter who or what caused your injuries on the job.
Back injuries aren’t the only common type of nursing injury. Repetitive stress, getting bloodborne infectious disease from needle punctures, physical injuries from violent assaults by mentally ill or violent patients, slip and fall injuries, sprains and strains to the lower back and shoulders, slipped discs, and infections or viruses.
Hospitals fail to protect nursing staff from becoming patients, NPR, February 4, 2015
What makes hospitals such hazardous workplaces?, OSHA
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