In news that likely surprises very few nurses, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that healthcare workers have some of the highest rates of workplace injuries among all occupations.
This news comes from a new report from the DOL based on 2013 statistics. On the bright side, however, the total number of workplace injuries decreased slightly from 2012 to 2013.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 33 percent of all workplace injuries that occurred during 2013. The report states that nursing assistants have the highest number of MSD cases of all occupations, followed by laborers and freight, stock, and material movers. Nursing assistants miss a median of seven days due to MSDs. LPNs and LVNs have fewer reported MSD cases, but miss a median of eight days of work due to those injuries.
While the overall number of injuries decreased from 2012 to 2013, the rate of workplace violence cases increased for the second year in a row. The rate of violence in the healthcare and social assistance sector rose to 16.2 cases per 10,000 from 15.1 in 2012. For nursing assistants specifically, 15 percent of all injury cases that caused work to be missed stemmed from workplace violence.
What do you think? Have you seen a significant rise (or fall) in workplace injury rates where you work? What needs to be done to help reduce injuries on the job? Let us know in the comments below!