Hospital workers are exposed to several dangerous and hazardous conditions and situations daily. However, one of the activities with the highest level of risk for these professionals is lifting and moving patients.
In fact, nursing has the second-highest number of reports related to musculoskeletal disorders. Learn more about the dangers of this activity and how it is impacting those in the healthcare field.
High-risk tasks that cause lift-related injuries
One of the main reasons injuries occur when lifting and moving patients is overexertion due to manual handling of the patient. Strains and sprains are the most reported issues, while the lower back and shoulders are the body parts most commonly impacted.
Some of the tasks that lead to these injuries include:
- Making beds with patients inside
- Moving patients from or to a toilet, bathtub, bed or chair
- Repositioning patient side to side in bed or in a chair
- Lifting a patient from the bed
A contributing factor to the injuries healthcare workers experience when lifting and moving patients is that the average weight and age of these individuals are increasing. This makes it necessary to provide assistance more often with daily tasks than what was required in the past.
Protecting yourself and your rights after a workplace injury
Workplace injuries for healthcare workers aren’t uncommon. They can occur due to accidental needlesticks, exposure to hazardous substances, lifting injuries and more. However, if an on-the-job accident and injury occurs, healthcare workers (like other workers) have rights. It is usually possible to recover workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries and lost time from work because of the injuries. It’s important for injured workers to learn what legal options they have if they are injured at work.