nurse helping older individual into wheelchair

For employees who work for an Assisted Living Facility client, workplace injuries seem to be lurking around every corner. Workers in nursing homes sustain among the highest reported rates of workplace injuries in the United States, suffering more injuries due to the physically strenuous demand of their day-to-day tasks.

In fact, nursing homes are among the top 10 industries for musculoskeletal problems, a major cause of absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, and worker injury and illness.

Assisted Living Workplace Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Whether it’s lifting and moving residents to slips and falls due to spills, nursing home workers need to be protected with effective workplace safety measures and education on the types of injuries that could befall them at any moment.

Here’s a look at some of the common injuries reported at an Assisted Living Facility, and what can be done to limit them.

Back Injuries

Workers must lift residents out of bed or off the ground, or they may have to lift someone by themselves. Back injuries can range from slipped discs to strains to hernias, all resulting in chronic pain and require medical intervention and long periods of recovery.

Repetitive Injuries

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that assisted living facility workers are twice as likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries that occur on account of repetitive movements. Nurses can also experience injuries to shoulders, ankle, feet, hands, wrists, and neck.

Slips and Falls

The nursing home environment can increase the risk of spills that end up causing slips, trips, and falls, all leading to severe injuries. From handling food and drinks to bringing residents their medications, every second of every day presents an opportunity for these issues. Nurses also work with a lot of medical equipment connected by electrical cords, which present a major hazard on their own.

OSHA Considerations

Most of the suggestions made by OSHA for better ergonomics for nurses are not rules necessarily, but are looked at as recommendations. Every facility is different and comes with its own unique approach to musculoskeletal health. While lifting devices can help, there will still be times when helping residents up or moving them is unavoidable. OSHA recommends that all assisted living facilities outline the parameters of lifting and repositioning residents that supports the health and well-being of employees.

An assisted living facility must meet general safety guidelines that all commercial buildings have to follow with regards to slips and falls, walkway hazards, electrical safety, and making sure that the entire grounds are safe from variables that lead to injuries and accidents.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. To learn more, contact us at (678) 359-6365.