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Lifting and Moving Patients, High Risk for Injury, Home Health Care Workers

Written by lisaspitzer. Posted in Injured Worker News

Home health care workers are at risk for Lifting, pushing and pulling. Call the lawyers of Workers Compensation Helpline, For the injured worker today to protect your rights.

NIOSH Acts To Prevent Lifting Injuries For Home Healthcare Workers,
The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) has published educational information to prevent musculoskeletal injuries at work. Injuries caused by ergonomic factors have been a major issue of the Federal government for decades and have been the basis for repetitive trauma motion claims for workers' compensation benefits. While the Clinton-Democratic administration had advocated strongly for ergonomic regulations, the Bush-Republican administration took action to reject the reporting of ergonomic injuries to OSHA.
A work-related musculoskeletal disorder is an injury of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, cartilage, bones, or blood vessels in the arms, legs, head, neck, or back that is caused or aggravated by work tasks such as lifting, pushing, and pulling. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, numbness, and tingling.
Lifting and moving clients create a high risk for back injury and other muscoskeletal disorders for home healthcare workers.

Home Health Care Workers and Workers for the disabled and elderly should

  •     Use ergonomic assistive devices if they are available.
  •     When it’s not possible to avoid manual patient handling:
  •         Stand as close to the patient as possible to avoid reaching, bending and twisting. To avoid rotating the spine, make sure one foot is in the direction of the move.
  •         Keep your knees bent and feet apart.
  •         Use gentle rocking motions to move a patient.
  •         When pulling a patient up from an adjustable bed, lower the head of the bed until it is flat or down. Raise the patient’s knees and encourage the patient to push.
  •         Don’t stand in one place. Move around the patient’s bed so you can position yourself in a safe posture rather than stretching, bending, and reaching.

Needle sticks and blood exposure

Home health care nurses are at risk of needlesticks and blood exposures, yet few studies have been conducted related to such exposures in the home health care setting. This article describes a cross sectional prevalence pilot study of needlesticks and blood exposures conducted among three home health care agencies in the San Francisco Bay area. Needlestick and blood exposure reports from 1993 to 1996 were submitted from three home health care agencies. The exposures were categorized using an existing categorization system and compiled into a composite report. A total of 52 exposures occurred; nurses sustained 92% of exposures. Twenty-three percent occurred before, during, or after needle disposal; 17% from manipulating intravenous/access ports; 15% from improper disposal; and 13.5% during or after blood draw. Needle safety devices need to be specifically designed for the unique home health care setting and for a standardized rate of calculating needlestick injuries in this setting.

Home health aides typically visit patients' homes to assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and eating. Many people enrolled in home health care have multiple health challenges, which can result in erratic and sometimes violent behavior. Home health aides also engage in manual labors like lifting patients. These aides are often injured multiple times on the job and these injuries affect more than just the employees. Home-health-care organizations and the long-term-care industry suffer from the effects of these occupational injuries, the researchers report at the 2010 Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Montreal.

If you are a Home Health care aidse injured on the job call for the injured worker today to protect you rights.

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