Laputka, Bayless, Ecker & Cohn, PC
local 570-861-5905
Toll Free 800-582-6452

New program focuses on ergonomics in healthcare

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration reported on July 18 that workers in the healthcare field in Pennsylvania will benefit from a new focus on using ergonomics to help keep them safe. Employees in the industry suffer from musculoskeletal disorders more often than workers in any other field, especially those who work at assisted-living facilities. Some of the workplace injuries include pulled muscles, soft tissue injuries and sprains.

The initiative will focus on 2,500 medical facilities in three states and Washington, D.C. An administrator with OSHA reported that effective prevention is the most important part of keeping workers safe. They will provide the nursing homes and long-term-care facilities with educational information on preventative measures. For example, if a worker needs to lift a patient, they will learn the proper procedure so they can avoid hurting themselves.

The U.S. Department of Labor also released information on risks of injuries, such as extended exertion, pulling and posture, and ways to prevent injuries. One ergonomic furniture company released a number of videos on YouTube to educate workers on preventative measures.

A public watchdog group reported on July 17 that despite the high risk of injuries for health care workers, the field doesn't receive much attention from OSHA. Construction workplaces undergo inspections at almost 20 times the rate of healthcare facilities, even though the healthcare workers are injured more than twice as often on the job. The watchdog agency doesn't believe that OSHA is doing their job when it comes to protecting healthcare workers.

When someone suffers from a workplace injury, they might not realize that it was due to negligence on the behalf of their employer. A workers' compensation attorney might be able to help clients pursue a claim to seek payment.

Source: Business2community, "OSHA Wants Ergonomic Conditions for Hospital Workers", Marv Durmon, July 21, 2013