OSHA Responds to Increasing Rates of Health Care Worker Illness and Injuries

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that nonfatal illnesses and injuries for health care support workers increased 6% in 2010 in the release of its report, "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2010."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responding by launching a National Emphasis Program on Nursing Home and Residential Care Facilities. OSHA will increase inspections of these facilities and will focus on musculoskeletal injuries, exposure to bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence; and slips, trips and falls.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary for the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated “It is unacceptable that the workers who have dedicated their lives to caring for our loved ones when they are sick are the very same workers who face the highest risk of work-related injury and illness. These injuries can end up destroying a family's emotional and financial security. While workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities take an enormous toll on this nation's economy – the toll on injured workers and their families is intolerable.”

View the press release.

To learn more about what ANA is doing to protect the health and safety of nurses, visit the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health’s website.