Workers are exposed to health and safety hazards at work often. Many employees get injured due to unsafe working conditions at work. The frequency of such accidents is very high at nursing care facilities and poses a threat to life, health and livelihood and increases the risk of preventable medical harm at the expense of patients.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees at nursing care facilities miss work at a rate that is 2.3 times higher than all other private businesses combined.
OSHA has initiated a National Emphasis Program to ensure safety for workers at nursing care facilities. In accordance with this program, the agency will inspect nursing care facilities and other healthcare providers for safety violations over the next three years. The agency wants will pay particular attention to slips, trips and falls because it believes that these types of accidents cause approximately 15 percent of the accidental deaths in North America.
To keep working conditions safe and secure, the employers of nursing care facilities should adhere to OSHA regulations. These regulations require the employers to provide reasonably safe working conditions. If the workplace is not safe, employers are obligated to reduce workplace hazards by making changes in the conditions.
To help ensure a safe and healthy workplace, OSHA has established certain rights for employees, including, training on hazard and hazard prevention, obtaining information about OSHA standards, medical record copies, workplace injury records and even the ability to request an OSHA inspection of the workplace.
Workplace injury risk in nursing facilities harms both employees and the patients they care for. Attention to this issue from all angles is critical for everyone involved.
Source: EHS Today, "OSHA Warns Nursing Care Facilities to Watch Their Steps," Sandy Smith, Sept. 04, 2012