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OSHA's new website to address workplace injury at hospitals

Hospital workers in Burlington, New Jersey, can be depended on to treat patients with injuries or illnesses, including those who suffered injuries at work. However, hospital employees are no different from any other average worker, because they also experience many serious workplace hazards.

In fact, a 2012 study revealed that U.S. hospitals suffered 250,000 work-related illnesses and injuries. Of these, nearly 60,000 caused employees' absences. Workers' compensation losses accounted for a $2 billion total annual expense for hospitals nationwide. For these reasons, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a website that may help hospital workers avoid workplace injuries. The web resource hopes to teach employees about workplace safety needs and health management systems with fact books and self-assessments.

The new hospital employee's website focuses on addressing the most common-type of injuries suffered by hospital workers. An expert at OSHA stated that these safety interventions and best practices may save costs and improve the quality service of hospital employees.

Nonetheless, Public Citizen, an advocacy group, would like OSHA to create a set of standards or rules that address health management programs, safety and safe patient handling for hospital employees. The consumer advocacy group stressed that health workers sustained more illnesses or injuries at work each year compared to any other industry. The health care industry had 653,900 workplace illnesses and injuries in 2010, which is much higher than the nearly 152,000 suffered by the manufacturing industry.

Workplace hazards can be prevented. Employers have the obligation to maintain workplace safety while their employees must do their best to avoid on-the-job injuries. Every job comes with certain injury risks, though, which can range from back pain and exposure to serious injuries. Fortunately, American workers, including those in New Jersey, are entitled to workers' compensation in the event of a workplace accident.

Source: EHS Today, "Caring for Caregivers: OSHA Launches Web Resource for Hospitals and Health Care Workers," Sandy Smith, Jan. 16, 2014

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