According to surveys by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 35,000 back and other severe injuries among nursing employees every year. In terms of the numbers of these injuries, the BLS data shows that nursing assistants are injured more than any other occupation! The number one reason why so many nursing employees are getting these injuries is by doing their everyday jobs of moving and lifting patients.
It is no news that this has become an epidemic among hospital nursing staff members, but for some reason no actions have been taken – until now. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently announced that they for the first time ever, they are going to crack down on hospitals to prevent an epidemic of back and arm injuries among nursing employees. Last year, OSHA sent letters to hospital administrators across the country and created a companion website, warning that nursing employees suffer high rates of injuries from moving and lifting patients. Hospitals can potentially be fined $7,000 if they do not adopt the new initiatives OSHA recommends.
Studies have proven that the “body mechanics” that are taught during nursing school are not enough when it comes to lifting a patient and will not prevent a nurse from being injured. Instead, the only way to actually prevent injury and move patients safely is by using special equipment, such as ceiling lifts – similar to that of what a factory would use to lift heavy parts. Under the new enforcement memo, OSHA’s inspectors will interview nursing staff and managers and review internal hospital documents to help nurses better understand what they should be doing to stay safe in hospitals.
OSHA is finally on-board to help the many nursing professionals that are putting their bodies in harm’s way each day at work, and is very serious about making sure all necessary precautions are being taken. OSHA wants to send an important message to these workplaces and make sure that nurses and other hospital members are staying safe. To learn more about this recent program OSHA has launched, click here.
If you have experienced injuries from being a nurse, or have experienced injuries from any job, contact David Singer & Associates today and learn more about what our team of attorneys can do for you.