Hospitals face unique challenges that contribute to the risk of injury and illness. From lifting and moving patients, needlesticks, slips, trips, and falls – when an employee gets hurt on the job, hospitals pay the price in many ways, including:
Workers’ Compensation for lost wages and medical costs;
temporary staffing, backfilling, and overtime when injured employees miss work;
turnover costs when an injured employee quits; and
decreased productivity and morale as employees become physically and emotionally fatigued.
The unique culture of healthcare contributes to the challenge. Caregivers feel an ethical duty to “do no harm” to patients and often feel compelled to put patient safety above all else. In addition, the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the work means workers must be prepared to respond or react to various situations with split-second decisions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five causes of injury among hospital workers are:
Overexertion and bodily reaction (45%)
Slips, trips, and falls (25%)
Contact with objects (13%)
Exposure to substances (4%)
Not only is hospital employment growing, which puts an increased number of workers at risk. Hospitals also include a wide variety of occupations that face a wide range of hazards. Keeping this diverse workforce safe and healthy through a safety and health management system can reduce injuries while saving money and improving patient care.
A safety and health management system is a proactive, collaborative process to find and fix workplace hazards before employees are injured or become ill. Almost all successful systems include six core elements:
Hazard identification and assessment
Hazard prevention and control
Education and training
Program evaluation and improvement
LMC Insurance & Risk Management can help you take the next step to keep your employees safe by:
Assessing your injury rates and safety programs
Exploring how a safety and health management system can make all of your safety programs more effective
Exploring the benefits of a comprehensive safe patient handling program
While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept liability for any inaccuracies or change circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it. This publication is distributed on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or services. Readers should always seek professional advice before entering into any commitments.