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Medical News & Perspectives |

Culture Shift Needed to Protect Health Workers From Injury

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2013;310(9):890-892. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.276289.
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There are few remaining industries where an employee would consider lifting 90 pounds of weight without mechanical assistance, but nurses, nursing assistants, and other health care support staff often do so with little thought of possible consequences.

This dedication comes at high cost. Although rates of nonfatal workplace injuries among US workers have declined in recent years, to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers, rates of injury among health care workers have remain elevated at 5.2 cases per 100 workers, according to data released by the US Department of Labor in 2011.

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Several groups are calling for renewed efforts to protect health care workers from injury, including urging more institutions to install mechanical lifts to help workers when they lift patients.

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