5 Essential Safety Tips for Healthcare Workers on the Job


Healthcare is a career field of significant importance, but it’s often difficult, with long hours and lots of busy work. While healthcare does pay quite well, and it’s rewarding to know that you’re saving lives, it does have risks, particularly to health and safety. When dealing with potential contagions, chemicals, and heavy equipment, it’s vital to know how to keep yourself safe in your working environment. If you aren’t proactive and following these safety tips and procedures, it may be smart to start.

The Risks of Healthcare

Contagious Diseases and Pathogens

The healthcare field often manages sick patients who may have contagious deadly viruses, infections, or diseases, such as COVID-19, HIV, or MRSA. Since contagions can be spread through the air, saliva, blood, skin, or other bodily fluids, there are many ways to put yourself at risk of catching them, especially as a healthcare worker who is exposed to more of these diseases than average people.

Chemical Exposure

Healthcare environments also present a risk of deadly chemical exposure. Cleaning agents with toxic materials, hazardous drugs, sterilants, and pesticides are some of the more common chemicals and toxins that may be present in healthcare.

Heavy Lifting and Equipment

Additionally, medical facilities often require frequent heavy lifting or transporting of patients and medical equipment such as crash carts. Careless or inadequate handling of equipment or patients can result in injuries or pain. Certain equipment such as MRI or X-ray machines can present safety risks with improper use, even radiation exposure.

There are ways to prevent and address these healthcare safety concerns, however.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

Protective clothing can help prevent the spread of disease and chemical burns. Face masks, face shields, gloves, and goggles can help protect most mucus membranes and points of contact for many infectious or contagious conditions, as well as medical chemicals used. Even if protective clothing may seem like overkill, you never know when it may be needed, such as when a patient coughs blood or comes into the ER with exposed bodily fluids. There may even be an unexpected chemical spill in the facility.

2. Handle Medical Equipment and Tools With Care

Some medical equipment can be sharp, heavy, or otherwise dangerous. Scalpels and needle sharps should always be handled with care, as they can often contain blood and other bodily fluids. Proper sharps disposal is vital in healthcare settings to protect yourself and others. Be certain all biohazardous material is disposed of properly.

A lot of medical equipment can be heavy and must be handled with care. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance to prevent injury or damage. Faulty equipment can cause serious injuries, but the existence of faulty equipment is rare, as healthcare facilities must provide safe and working tools and equipment. However, If you receive an injury as a result of workplace negligence such as faulty equipment, you may want to consider pursuing legal action. Contact a lawyer in your area to discuss your case. For example, Illinois or Chicago healthcare workers may find hiring firms such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers crucial in their respective cases.

3. Ask for Help When Needed

Healthcare workers often have to lift patients and medical equipment. Asking for help when something is too heavy to lift alone can reduce workplace injuries or pain issues, even for patients. If you need assistance with anyone who is a threat to themselves or others, try to get help when you’re able. Healthcare often is a team sport for a good reason.

4. Pay Attention to Safety Training

Medical facilities are often exposed to contagious medical conditions as well as hazardous chemicals and materials. Handling and navigating these substances requires proper training. Facilities need to provide proper safety training to any employees when it comes to chemical exposure, equipment usage, air and bloodborne pathogens, and fire safety. All healthcare workers must pay strict attention to these safety procedures in case of emergencies. It can prevent serious injury, disease, or even death! If your facility has not provided adequate training, it needs to be reported and accurately addressed.

5. Sanitize Often

Washing your hands as often as possible is one of the most important keys to healthcare safety. Sanitize your workstation and patient areas often, especially after patients are dismissed. Keeping yourself and your work area free of germs and other dangerous substances can be the difference between safety and illness. This is particularly important around areas where you eat; wash your hands before and after preparing and consuming food during breaks.


The healthcare field can be busy and dangerous, but it is one of the most important fields in our society. There are health risks to handling patients with potentially deadly diseases, but these risks can be significantly reduced with proper safety procedures, such as wearing protective clothing, asking for help, and sanitizing often. Know your rights when it comes to workplace safety and injury, as legal issues may arise.


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