Lifting patients a frequent cause of injury in health care

Blogs from November, 2020

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

When you make your living working in a New Hampshire hospital, nursing home or similar health care setting, you may find that moving and shifting patients is a regular part of your job duties. Performing heavy lifting repeatedly, though, has the potential to lead to serious and debilitating lifting-related injuries.

According to Health Care Business & Technology, you face numerous risks in your line of work. While many health care employers have taken steps to eliminate many of these risks, the threat of lifting-related injuries remains high. How much of an injury risk do you face in your line of work, and what might your employer do to better protect you and your coworkers?

Lifting injury statistics

Research shows that if you work as a nurse, lifting-related injuries are your biggest threat. Each year, nurses develop about 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries caused by lifting that keep them from coming into work. This number indicates that the risks of injury you face when working as a nurse are more substantial than those encountered by construction workers, factory employees and others who perform only physical labor.

Recommended safety protocols

Your health care employer may encourage you to find other employees to lift patients with you when possible. Lifting patients as part of a team may cut your injury risk to some extent by helping distribute a patient’s weight. Yet, it only does so much in terms of prevention. Often, the most effective way to cut your risk of a lifting-related back or musculoskeletal injury is for your employer to buy lift-assistance equipment.

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