Healthcare Worker Occupational Safety and Health
Healthcare Worker Occupational Safety and Health
May 6, 2021 by eMedEvents

Let’s talk about healthcare safety! When people think of healthcare personnel, they often think of how they assist patients who suffer from injuries or disease. What people often don’t consider is the danger healthcare workers put themselves in to provide that help. 

The injury rate among healthcare workers is higher than in any sector. Moreover, healthcare workers face higher work-related injuries and illnesses than those associated with manufacturing or construction companies. 

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five nonfatal occupational injuries occurred among healthcare workers in 2013. Their statistics also show that 66,910 musculoskeletal disorders occurred among healthcare and social assistance workers that year. According to the report, nursing aides, attendants, and assistants suffered the most from musculoskeletal conditions.

Unfortunately, these risks have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as medical professionals spend hours daily around infected patients. 

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us of the vital role the health workers play to relieve suffering and save lives.”

Eliminating the risks related to healthcare may seem impossible, but it is a mountain worth climbing. Consider the following safety tips to help reduce the risks in your medical workplace.

 

  1. Avoid Bloodborne Pathogens: Healthcare workers are often exposed to bloodborne pathogens when they come in contact with a patient’s bodily fluids. Being unsafe with blood and other fluids can result in the transmission of bacterial and viral infections. Personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves, goggles, and face shields can help prevent this transmission. Be sure to use antiseptics and sanitizer after each interaction.
  2. Avoid Sharp injuries: Needles, scalpels, and other sharp objects are part of everyday life for a healthcare worker. However, these items are often contaminated. To avoid the risks related to these objects, be sure to dispose of them according to a proper disposal procedure.
  3. Reduce The Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders:  Repeated handling of immobile patients can lead to several injuries, especially in the musculoskeletal system.  Make use of assistive devices like slip sheets and slings to protect yourself from musculoskeletal injuries.
  4. Consider Chemical Hazards:  Chemicals used in healthcare settings may sometimes lead to cancer and or reproductive and neurological disorders. Make sure that you are wearing gloves and personal protective equipment when dealing with these hazardous chemicals.


eMedEvents provides several events and webcasts for health care professionals about Healthcare Worker Occupational Safety. By signing up for the following events, you will have an in-depth understanding of Healthcare Worker Occupational Safety and Health.

XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021

Organizers: Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Institute for Work and Health (IWH), International Labor Organization (ILO), and International Social Security Association (ISSA) 

Start Date: September 19, 2021

End Date:  September 22, 2021 

Registration Fee: Free

 

Occupational Safety and Wellness Course 

Organizer: National Wellness Courses

Ticket Cost: Free

 


References

Clever, Linda Hawes, and Yannick LeGuyader. “Infectious Risks for Health Care Workers.” Www.annualreviews.org, 1995, www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.pu.16.050195.001041.

“Health Care Worker Health and Safety: Preventing Needlestick Injury and Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.” World Health Organization, www.who.int/occupational_health/activities/3epidemio.pdf.

“Keep Health Workers Safe to Keep Patients Safe: WHO.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 17 Sept. 2020, www.who.int/news/item/17-09-2020-keep-health-workers-safe-to-keep-patients-safe-who.

Shamsudin, Shamsul. “Healthcare Workers: Occupational Safety and Health.” 9th Sabah Public Health Colloquium, Kudat, September 2014. Conference Presentation

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