Back and neck pain and injuries are a common occurrence in many work settings, but there are some professions where workers are particularly at risk. Hearing this, most people would tend to think of jobs in construction and the trades, but one of the most prominent settings for such injuries is in health care. This is particularly the case with workers in nursing and residential care.
Nurses are particularly at risk for back and neck issues because their work involves so much heavy lifting and awkward maneuvering. Many facilities have brought in mechanical lifts to help workers move patients more easily and safety, and this has been a large improvement.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, increased use of mechanical lifts could significantly help reduce back and neck injuries in health care. A recent document released by OSHA even goes as far as refuting the myths that mechanical lifting is not as safe, efficient and inexpensive as manual lifting. In fact, mechanical lifting is safer, more efficient and can reduce costs for employers.
Mechanical lifts are one of a variety of means hospitals and other facilities and health care companies can use to ensure their workers are at less risk for back and neck injury. When injuries do occur, of course, workers have the right to seek workers’ compensation without their employer obstructing the process or making it more difficult. That doesn’t always happen, though, and having the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help resolve such cases.
Source: Safety.blr.com, “Back injuries in healthcare: A $20 billion problem,” June 25, 2014.