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Lifting patients creates injury risks for health care workers

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

When you make your living working in a New Jersey clinic, hospital or another medical setting where you have to move patients, your risk of a lifting-related injury is much higher than that of the general public. Many nurses, nursing assistants, hospital porters and other medical professionals suffer from work-related back and other pain. Often, the pain is the result of lifting patients.

Per Health Leaders Media, medical professionals who work in hospitals are especially at risk. If you work in a hospital environment, your chance of suffering a work-related illness or injury is almost twice as high as it is for other employees who work in the private sector. If you work in a nursing home, the injury rate is almost three times as high as it is within the rest of the private sector.

How common lifting-related injuries are

Research shows that hospital employees experience 75 lifting-related injuries for every 10,000 of them who work full-time. Lifting injuries are even more common if you work in a nursing home or assisted living facility, with these professionals suffering 107 such injuries for every 10,000 of them working full-time.

How to help prevent lifting-related injuries

Your employer may encourage you and other medical professionals to take part in team lifting to lessen the strain placed on each individual. Yet, many hospitals lack adequate staff, making team lifting difficult. When they have the funding, some hospitals invest in lift-assistance equipment. Although it is expensive, this equipment lessens injury risks for workers by performing much of the heavy physical labor for them.

As the Baby Boomer generation grows older and continues to need more care, the number of health care workers suffering lifting-related injuries is likely to rise.