New research highlights something that those familiar with the area of workplace safety know well: health care is a dangerous field to work in from a safety perspective. According to the research, more than 2 million lost work days were reported in 2011 due to on-the-job injuries of workers in the healthcare industry.
The number of injuries among health care workers is not as high as rates in outdoor wilderness professions like commercial fishing and logging, but it is still “sky high,” according to study author Scott Harris, director of Employee Health and Service Advisory Services at UL Workplace Health and Safety.
To make matters worse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t do enough to ensure safety in the healthcare industry. As it stands, there is only one OSHA inspector for every 59,000 covered employees in a system with over 8 million work sites, and inspections of healthcare facilities are infrequent.
OSHA practices changed last year with respect to inspection of health care faculties, when the agency began conducting targeted inspections and stepping up efforts on the regional and national level. Hopefully OSHA oversight continues to improve—it is sorely needed.
Those who are seriously injured at work sometimes find that the compensation they receive is not enough for them. When the impairment or impairments are serious enough, such individuals may qualify for Social Security Disability. It isn’t easy to qualify for SSDI benefits, but it is well worth it for those who are facing an uncertain future due to serious workplace injuries.
Source: Upi.com, “2 million lost work days a year due to heath worker injuries,” October 7, 2013.