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Evaluation of a best practices back injury prevention program in nursing homes.

Collins-JW; Wolf-L; Bell-J; Evanoff-B
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :56
Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that nursing homes have the highest nonfatal injury rate of all health services industries. Among female workers in the U.S. in 2000, Nursing aides and orderlies comprise the highest risk occupation (prevalence rate = 18%) and reported the largest number of work related cases of back pain (n=269,000). This NIOSH study, conducted in collaboration with BJC Health System, evaluated the impact of a "best practices" program for back injury prevention in six nursing homes. A laboratory study evaluated the biomechanical stresses on nursing personnel, the safety and comfort of the residents, and the time efficiency of nine battery powered lifts and three manual methods for transferring physically dependent residents. The field study utilized company records on injuries, hours worked, and staff demographics to examine the injury experience and injury-related costs of a cohort of nursing aides, orderlies, and assistants for an eight year period (1995-2002, 36 month pre- and a 60-month post intervention). The intervention included state-of-the-art patient lifting equipment to assist with transferring residents in and out of a bed or chair; and bathing, toileting, and weighing tasks. A comprehensive worker training program, a zero-lift policy, and medical management of injured workers was also integral to the prevention program. The program was highly successful in reducing injury incidence (57% reduction) and injury-related costs (44% reduction). Injury rates presented will be stratified by nursing home, age, gender, length of employment, shift, and work-status (full-time, part-time, and per diem).
Back-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Nursing; Medical-personnel; Health-care-personnel; Health-care-facilities; Sex-factors; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
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Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
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NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania