The health care industry is perhaps one of the most dangerous industries, ranking up there with construction and trucking in the sustaining of nonfatal injuries. The reason they rate so high is because of the growing elderly population since nursing homes are a major care providers to the elderly within the health care industry.
A high rate of injuries often comes with a higher number of workers compensation claims. Worker compensation brokers therefore find themselves busy securing policies for those firms who provide this type of coverage for this rather large pool of clients.
The rate of injury to nursing aides is among the highest
More than 1.5 million elderly and disabled Americans reside in nursing homes today, and nursing assistants provide the majority of their care. Injuries, as noted before, run high in this profession, and nursing homes are among the top 10 industries for musculoskeletal problems.
This type of injury, often reported among nursing home workers in higher numbers compared with rates among workers in other occupations, is obviously a big concern. These injuries make up one of the major causes of worker absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, and worker injury and illness. Even though precautions are taken, these figures aren’t likely to subside anytime soon.
Nursing home employees perform so many physically taxing activities daily, including transferring residents to and from beds, lifting heavy loads, and working in awkward postures. In addition, operating and manipulating the technology that supports patient care can be physically straining as well.
Unfortunately many health care institutions, due to budget constraints, have been required to perform on a more efficient level, resulting in a lower number of staff, which combined with higher patient loads, has shown to increase the number of worker injuries. The increased injury rates may also be the result of increased exposure to extremely hazardous conditions with diminished recovery time between these exposures.
Studies have shown that the impact of staffing is also important for worker health and improving staffing levels in nursing homes can be beneficial to both workers and residents. With the possibility of a shortage of long-term care workers, it’s imperative to promote the health of this essential group of care providers, as their services will be increasingly needed in order to care for our aging population. Workers compensation brokers can benefit by helping their clients secure this vital insurance product at competitive market prices.