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Back Injury In The Work Place



Nursing homes are ranked third on the U.S.
Labor Department's list of most dangerous work sites.

One of the most dangerous work sites in the U.S. is a place where primary functions include caring, comforting, and supporting residents: nursing homes.

Nursing home injury rates have risen by 55 percent since 1983. Back injuries are the most common ailment of nurses aides, caused by lifting residents from their beds and to and from bathrooms. Aides often perform dozens of lifts a day, many unassisted. Nursing homes are ranked third on the U.S. Labor Department's list of most dangerous work sites.

Workplace hazards in nursing homes have increased in recent years as a result of the U.S. health care delivery system. More nursing home residents are sicker and less independent than in the past. To cut down on overall health care costs, enfeebled elderly are being shifted from hospitals to less expensive nursing home facilities. Often there are aren't enough nurses aides to make it possible for two or more people to lift a single resident which subjects workers to greater risk of injury.

What's the answer?

New equipment, along with a comprehensive program of training, educating, and consultation with the staff, is an effective way to reduce back injuries.