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June 11, 2014
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

New OSHA resource aims to help reduce injuries among workers in
the nursing home and residential care industries

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Nursing Homes*, a new brochure that addresses the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders among nursing home and residential care workers.

"Musculoskeletal injuries are the single biggest worker injury in the healthcare sector," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This new resource will help make employers and workers aware of the activities that pose the greatest hazards to workers who care for residents in nursing homes and residential care industries and what can be done to decrease risks to these workers."

Healthcare workers experience some of the highest rates of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses of any industry sector. In 2012, injuries and illnesses reported for nursing and residential care workers were nearly twice the number of those reported for construction workers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Injuries include muscle strains, low back and rotator cuff injuries and tendinitis. This brochure explains how implementing a safe patient handling program can reduce or prevent the number and severity of these musculoskeletal hazards.

A successful safe patient handling program includes input from healthcare workers who work directly with patients, commitment to the program by all levels of management, hazard assessment, technology and equipment to control hazards and training.

Copies of the brochure are available online and through OSHA's Publications Office at 202-693-1888.

OSHA's Nursing Homes and Personal Care Facilities Web page lists the industry's most common hazards and possible solutions, OSHA enforcement initiatives including the National Emphasis Program - Nursing and Residential Care Facilities and information on implementing workplace safety and health programs to help reduce the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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