When you think of hospitals, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is safe. But it is far from being safe. A report recorded in 2011 in U.S hospitals showed that 253,700 were work-related injuries and illnesses for about 100 full-time employees.
Creating a program that prevents injuries on workers has been implemented, and it also aims at helping patients and saving hospital resources. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is put in place to help hospitals implement safety and health management systems. It also assesses the safety of the workplace and enhances safe patient handling programs.
These resources are in the list below.
Understanding the problem
Some serious hazards found in the hospital include slips, tripping, lifting patients, the potential for agitated visitors or patients, and so much more. When it comes to caregivers, they feel an ethical duty to protect their patients. Some will go to the extent of risking their safety to help a patient.
The hospital industry has a higher risk of injuries than construction and manufacturing known to be dangerous.
If a hospital staff is to suffer injuries at the workplace, the facility have to pay for worker’s compensation for wages lost and medical bills. Also, they have to pay temporary staff and overtime when an injured employee is not at work. Another disadvantage is when there is low productivity caused when employees become emotionally and physically drained.
Work safety affects the care of the patient. For example, manual lifting can injure the caregiver. Patients also risk falling, fractures, skin tears, and bruises. Caregivers also suffer a high rate of stress, fatigue, injury, and this can cause a risk of medication errors and infections from patients.
Safety and Health Management Systems
An effective way of reducing workplace injuries is to have a comprehensive, safety proactive, and health management system. It is put in place to reduce workplace hazards so that employees are not injured or fall ill.
The benefits include worker’s protection, saving money, and ensuring all hazard-specific programs are effective.
Safe Patient Handling
Having safe patient handling programs in hospitals can reduce injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders. Such programs not only reduce injuries in workers but also improve patients care.
OSHA has a series of online courses that can help hospitals develop and implement safe patient handling assessments, programs, patient education, policies, and procedures within the hospital.
Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare
Many healthcare workers face a significant risk of violence in their workplace. It can be within the hospital or nursing home. Some factors that contribute majorly to this risk include handling clients with a history of violence, those under drug influence, or dealing with hysterical patients.
Between the years 2002 to 2013, employees’ workplace violence was far more significant than those experienced in the private industry. Several assaults go unreported.
OSHA has designed guidelines of resources that help to build and implement a conducive workplace program within the healthcare facility. These guidelines describe the five components of an effective workplace with a violence prevention program.