Working in the healthcare industry often involves a degree of risk. Healthcare workers can be exposed to dangers in the form of injuries, bloodborne pathogens, allergies, and more. In fact, according to OSHA, a hospital is statistically one of the most dangerous places a person can work.
According to a Philadelphia workers compensation lawyer, “as long as you didn’t inflict the injury yourself and you were not breaking the law when the accident occurred,” you are still eligible for workers compensation. However, no one wants to experience and injury at work. To limit your risk on the job, remember these suggestions.
Be Careful Around Bloodborne Pathogens
If you work in the medical field, there’s a good chance you may spend time with patients who carry illnesses that can be transferred through blood or other bodily fluids. Reducing your chances of exposure to these pathogens is key to your safety. That means making sure you’re always wearing the appropriate clothing, including gloves and goggles when necessary.
You should also wash your hands regularly, apply antiseptics and disinfectants to your skin before performing any surgical procedure, and make sure all instruments have been properly cleaned before and after use.
Use Machines to Help
There are many instances in which healthcare workers are required to help move patients who suffer from limited mobility. This can put employees at risk of back injuries.
Reduce these risks by taking advantage of machines and devices whenever possible. Electronic hoists, slings, and other items can all make this type of task much easier.
Learn About Chemical Hazards
As the CDC points out, chemical hazards are often present at healthcare facilities. It’s important to make sure all employees know how to identify these hazards, and how to make sure they don’t expose themselves to any potentially harmful chemicals. Again, anyone working with or near these chemicals must wear the proper safety equipment and receive the proper training.
Be Careful with Sharp Objects
According to the CDC, sharps injuries are also relatively common in the healthcare field. As the name implies, these injuries involve being accidentally harmed from a needle, scalpel, or similar sharp object that’s regularly used in healthcare.
Hospitals must ensure all employees who use these items are trained to handle them properly. Whenever possible, use newer technology as a substitute for needles in order to avoid potential injury.
Emphasize Fire Safety
A fire safety program is essential at any workplace. However, the healthcare sector is unique, as employees are often surrounded by patients who may not be able to help themselves in the event of a fire. That’s why healthcare workers are encouraged to follow the RACE procedure when they notice a fire or smoke:
- Rescue anyone nearby
- Activate a fire alarm
- Contain the fire by closing doors and windows
- Extinguish the fire
If you don’t already have safety and training programs like the ones recommended here in place, it’s time to consider implementing them. Working in the healthcare field doesn’t need to be dangerous. By applying these safety tips, you’re much more likely to avoid harm on the job.