Low back injuries are the leading occupational health problem affecting healthcare workers and are increasing among nurses and nurses’ assistants.
Latex gloves have been used to prevent transmission of many infectious diseases to healthcare workers. However, latex is hazardous to some healthcare workers, resulting in a range of health effects from minor dermatitis to asthma, life-threatening anaphylaxis and respiratory arrest, similar to a bee sting allergic reaction.
An estimated 600,000 – 800,000 needlestick injuries (nsi) occur annually in the United States. About half of these injuries go unreported.
Changes in work organization resulting from restructuring, downsizing, and layoffs within the healthcare industry are resulting in decreased staffing levels, increased workloads and time pressures, and longer hours of work.
Of the medical professionals, nurses suffer the largest number and the highest rate of non-fatal workplace violence.
Despite the existence of OSHA chemical hazard communications, most healthcare workers are unaware of the risks of these agents and the appropriate control measures.