Healthcare workers not receiving enough protection from OSHA with the highest number of worker injuries, this industry is one of the least protected by OSHA. A report by Public Citizen shows that healthcare workers suffer more annual injuries and illnesses on the job than any other industry, OSHA conducts few facility inspections due to a lack of existing safety standards.
About 650,000 healthcare employees sustain injuries or illnesses each year. This blows past the second most affected industry, manufacturing. To issue citations for ergonomic problems, OSHA must use the General Duty Clause, which states that employers have a duty to protect employees from recognized hazards that could lead to injury or death. The construction industry receives the most OSHA inspections. The agency inspects one-twentieth as many healthcare facilities as construction sites, even though the number of healthcare workers more than doubles construction workers. OSHA has launched a new campaign to protect healthcare workers from the hazards that lead to MSDs. These workers will receive information about controlling hazards and implementing a zero-lift program, which uses special lifting equipment to minimize the worker’s exertion. The campaign will raise awareness and benefit healthcare workers.