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Lifting patients a frequent cause of injury in health care

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Working in health care has inherent risks, and if your job duties include moving patients, one of the biggest risks you face is that of experiencing a lifting-related injury. Research shows that lifting-related injuries are becoming increasingly problematic for those in your line of work and that these injuries often lead to chronic pain, missed work and other hardships.

According to HealthLeaders Media, there are about 75 injuries resulting from heavy lifting for every 10,000 health care workers employed full-time at U.S. hospitals. The lifting-related injury rate is even higher in U.S. nursing homes. There, workers experience 107 such injuries for every 10,000 full-time employees.

Why lifting injuries persist

Older patients are more likely to need lift assistance than younger patients. Thus, as the population ages, so, too, does the number of people needing mobility help. Obesity is also a growing problem, with heavier patients posing more of a threat when it comes to lifting-related injuries than lighter individuals.

How to prevent lifting injuries

Some hospitals and nursing homes have taken steps to reduce injuries caused by lifting. Some encourage team lifting, but many health care workers say this is unrealistic, citing staffing issues. Some health care employers are also purchasing lift-assistance equipment. This equipment helps reduce the strain on your body and those of other health care workers. However, the price of this equipment means it remains out of reach of many health care providers or nursing home employers.

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