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Slip, trip, and fall injuries to nursing home workers.
Bell JL; Collins JW; Tiesman HM; Ridenour M; Wolf L; Evanoff B
Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-103, 2011 Nov; :40-43
National injury data show that nursing home employees are at particularly high risk of an STF injury resulting in days lost from work when their rates are compared to rates found in all private industry [BLS 2009a]. It is not fully known why these workers are at such high risk; it may be that they are exposed to more hazardous conditions, that they have characteristics that make them more likely to fall or sustained injury after a fall, or they are more likely to report injuries. However, Galazzi et al.'s  research shows that many injuries go unreported in the healthcare industry, so it is quite likely that the injury burden sustained by nursing home workers is even greater than it appears. Most of the STF events were attributed to hazards such as liquid contamination on the floor, objects on the floor, or ice/snow that can be mitigated through preventive measures. Previous research identified risk factors and developed and implemented a "best practices" STF prevention program in three acute care hospitals [Bell et al. 2008]. The ten-year longitudinal study demonstrated the effectiveness of the prevention program, and a reduction in STF workers' compensation claims rates by almost 60%. Given the similarities in the hospital and nursing home environments, comparable interventions should be trialed in a nursing home setting. Drebit et al. (2010) recently performed a largescale analysis of falls in British Columbia's healthcare sector. In their study, the longterm care sector (nursing home) workers had the highest rate of falls in all of healthcare. Given that Care Aides were also among the highest risk employees within long-term care, evaluation of these workers' specific hazard exposures is warranted so that preventive measures can be better tailored for their work. Bathing and toileting of dependent patients, as an example, may add unique STF hazards to their work. It is hoped that the findings of this paper can direct research towards the high STF risk environment of nursing home workers, with particular focus on Care Aides involved in direct patient care tasks.
Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Health-care-personnel; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Nursing; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-programs; Work-environment; Surveillance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888, USA
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division