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OSHA resource looks to reduce, prevent LTC workplace injuries

June 19, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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It is well-documented that long-term care (LTC) workers have more injuries and illnesses than workers in any other industry sector. And musculoskeletal injuries caused lifting, transferring and repositioning of residents are the most prevalent in the healthcare industry. These injuries can range from sprains and strains to broken bones.

To addresses and potentially reduce the occurrence of on-the-job healthcare injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a new resource targeting ways to prevent musculoskeletal injury: “Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Nursing Homes.”

Not only does an effective safe resident handling program benefit LTC employees, it also benefits residents and is a cost-effective method to reduce missed days and compensation claims.

“This new resource will help make employers and workers aware of the activities that pose the greatest hazards to workers who care for residents in nursing homes…and what can be done to decrease risks to these workers,” said David Michaels, PhD, MPH, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, in a release.

This guide provides top-down groundwork for establishing and implementing a safe resident handling program in the LTC environment. In addition, it offers a variety of additional resources to access.

Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Nursing Homes” is available online and through the OSHA Publications Office, (202) 693-1888.