The Most Common Workplace Injuries in Healthcare

Updated on April 13, 2023
The Most Common Workplace Injuries in Healthcare

Healthcare workers show heroism and compassion for others every day. They place patients’ well-being at the top of their priority list to ensure they receive the best care. However, these hardworking individuals face many hazards on the job that can put their well-being at risk. These are the most common workplace injuries in healthcare that can threaten a worker’s safety.

Sprains and Strains

These injuries are common amongst nursing aids and attendants responsible for transferring and lifting patients. It’s vital to remember to use proper transferring techniques at all times. The correct equipment must be used to ensure the safety of workers and residents.

Slip and Falls

Slip and fall incidents can happen anywhere, but especially in a medical setting. Spills left unattended are hazards for the people walking the floor during a shift and can lead to severe falls and strains.

Bloodborne Infectious Diseases

Healthcare workers are always at risk when they use needles to draw blood or administer vaccines. Needle-sticks can occur if the needle slips and accidentally punctures the skin. These accidents can happen if the healthcare professional holding the needle drops it, for instance, or when the needles are being used, dissembled, or disposed of.

A bloodborne pathogen course provides training on how to handle and dispose of sharps safely, and also educates healthcare professionals on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, and masks. By taking this course, healthcare workers can learn how to minimize their risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Overexertion or Repetitive Stress

Healthcare workers are at a greater risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders than other workers due to the repetitive nature of their daily duties. Anyone with a prior record of injuries can further exacerbate a past strain or sprain, especially when their work results in those same areas undergoing targeted stress.

Workplace Violence

Every day in the healthcare setting is different as patients’ and residents’ moods change. Aggressive patients can harm workers during procedures and make it difficult for them to complete their duties. Hospitals and clinics are vulnerable as targets of robberies due to the presence of medicinal drugs.

While these workplace injuries are common in healthcare, workers can avoid them by implementing proper training and an effective accident prevention program. Employers should train their employees periodically so everyone can stay knowledgeable and safe.