Due to the type of duties they regularly perform, there are a lot of dangers pertaining to workers in the health care industry, putting it in line with construction, trucking, and meatpacking, as far as nonfatal injury rates are concerned. With our fast-growing elderly population, nursing homes have risen to become major care providers to the elderly within the health care industry. The number of elderly and disabled Americans residing in nursing homes is approximately 1.5 million, and nurse’s aides provide the majority of their care.
Owners of nursing homes have never had to ask the question, “What is workers compensation insurance?” Nursing homes rank among the top 10 industries for workers’ compensation claims as a result of musculoskeletal problems, which is one of the major causes of worker absenteeism and worker injury. Reported rates of musculoskeletal injury among workers in other occupations have not been nearly as high as those among nursing home workers.
What triggers injuries in health care workers?
Nursing home employees perform many physically taxing activities, such as transferring residents to and from their beds, lifting heavy loads, and oftentimes working in awkward postures. In addition to this they are constantly manipulating the technology that supports patient care, which can also be physically straining. The increased worker injury rates can be directly linked to increased exposure to dangerous working conditions along with diminished recovery time between these exposures.
Worker injuries in health care facilities associated with staffing numbers and the skill levels of those employees have been previously examined, but because health care institutions have been required to perform more efficiently, the resultant changes are lower staffing levels and, with an increase in patients, the number of work related injuries have increased as well.
A review of the impact of staffing on health care by the Institute of Medicine noted that there is empirical evidence that shows back injuries among nurses are directly associated with staffing levels. What is workers compensation insurance? It’s the best line of defense for getting medical attention to workers requiring assistance, as well as financial support for workers who must miss work as a result of those injuries.