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...
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