Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman, from Jon L Gelman LLC, a law firm in New Jersey. It addresses yet another workplace danger for healthcare workers, this time for home healthcare workers, but I suspect some of the same issues can be found in almost any healthcare setting. I have written and posted others’ blogs about how challenging jobs can be for healthcare workers and how the work they do can be taken for granted. And I spend so much time talking about workplace safety because a safer workplace can often decrease workers’ compensation claims, and most importantly, keep workers safe. Because I don’t want healthcare professionals to sacrifice their own health because they’re taking care of others’ loved ones.
The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH has published educational information to prevent musculoskeletal injuries at work. Injuries caused by ergonomic factors have been a major issue of the Federal government for decades and have been the basis for repetitive trauma motion claims for workers’ compensation benefits. While the Clinton-Democratic administration had advocated strongly for ergonomic regulations, the Bush-Republican administration took action to reject the reporting of ergonomic injuries to OSHA.
A work-related musculoskeletal disorder is an injury of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, cartilage, bones, or blood vessels in the arms, legs, head, neck, or back that is caused or aggravated by work tasks such as lifting, pushing, and pulling. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, numbness, and tingling.
Lifting and moving clients create a high risk for back injury and other musculoskeletal disorders for home healthcare workers. Continue reading