Working in health care exposes you to more risks than the average employee, and many of those risks stem from lifting and shifting heavy patients. Your risk of suffering a lifting-related injury is so notable, in fact, that it is the biggest threat you face in your line of work.
According to Healthcare Business & Technology, the biggest threat you face as a health care worker is also one that is not getting as much attention as it should. Though lifting-related injuries affect more than 35,000 nurses annually to the point where they are unable to perform their jobs, many hospitals and other health care environments lack the infrastructure needed to help their nurses, porters and others lift safely.
Why proper technique is not enough
Many health care environments encourage you to lift patients as part of a team to reduce injury risks. If you work in the field, you may understand all too well how difficult it is to find an entire team to move a patient when the need arises.
Also, even when you do engage in team lifting, it does not take all the strain off your body. Even when you follow all recommended safe lifting practices, moving patients still places a considerable strain on your body. Safety advocates also recommend lifting heavy objects when they are close to your body. Because most of the people you lift in health care are in bed, though, this becomes almost impossible to do.
Why lift-assistance equipment is necessary
Health care employers may be able to mitigate lifting-related injury risks by adding lift-assistance equipment to their facilities. Regrettably, though, the cost of such equipment prevents many employers from purchasing and using it.
Find more about injuries caused by heavy lifting on our webpage.