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What injury risks do you face working in a hospital?

When you make your living working in a North Carolina hospital, you face unique and considerable on-the-job hazards that potentially expose you to illness and injury. In addition to the obvious risks associated with working with ailing patients, you also face unique hazards specific to your work environment that have the capacity to affect your future health and wellness.

Today’s hospital work environments are so dangerous, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that hospital employees suffer injuries at nearly twice the rate of workers in the private sector. In 2011 alone, for example, hospital employees reported suffering 58,860 work-related injuries and illnesses. Just what types of job-specific risks do you face working in a hospital?

Overexertion

Overexertion is one of the most common causes of hospital worker injuries, accounting for nearly half of all injuries that were severe enough to keep workers from showing up to work. Many overexertion-related injuries suffered by hospital workers stem from moving heavy patients, equipment and so on, but you can also suffer these injuries from bending over and overreaching.

Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains, too, are common among hospital and health care workers, and they collectively account for about 54 percent of all injuries suffered by those who share your work environment. Nurses and nursing assistants are at a particularly high risk of suffering sprains and strains, and they frequently suffer them after moving heavy patients.

Cuts, lacerations and punctures

Working in a hospital also exposes you to potential cuts, lacerations and punctures. Your risk of needlestick injuries, in particular, may prove high if you regularly inject or suture patients as part of your job duties.

While these are some of the more common injury risks you face working in a hospital, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all potential on-the-job hazards.

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