Medical workers have more injuries than mining and construction

Medical workers have more injuries than mining and construction

Fishermen, construction workers, manufacturers and other types of accidents come to mind when many people think of dangerous jobs. While these occupations expose workers to serious injuries and deaths, none of them have the highest number of injuries. That belongs to healthcare workers, the people who are supposed to help victims recover from injuries.

A nonprofit group has found that nurses and other healthcare workers such as nurses' aides and attendants suffer musculoskeletal injuries more often than workers in any other field. There were about 653,900 workplace injuries among healthcare injuries in 2010, about 152,000 more than manufacturing, which had the second highest injury rate.

Despite the high number of injuries, healthcare facilities are not inspected for safety as often as other industries. The construction industry is inspected the most often. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts about one-twentieth as many inspections of healthcare facilities as construction sites, the group found.

That leaves healthcare workers without a watchdog to make sure that they do not suffer from musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries. An assistant secretary of labor told the group, Public Citizen, that healthcare safety needs to be addressed. But OSHA told the group it does not have the funds.

If there is a positive note, it is that healthcare workers do not have the highest number of worker deaths even though the field has the most injuries. Federal statistics show that fishermen have the highest fatality rate but miners have the most deaths.

Source: UPI, Forget crab fishermen, "U.S. healthcare workers have most injuries," July 19, 2013

  • Our law firm represents people who have been injured in accidents that happen from others' negligence. To learn more, visit our page on serious orthopedic injuries.
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