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Occupational injuries among nurses and aides in a hospital setting.

Boden LI; Sembajwe G; Tveito TH; Hashimoto D; Hopcia K; Kenwood C; Stoddard AM; Sorensen G
Am J Ind Med 2012 Feb; 55(2):117-126
Background: Patient care workers in acute care hospitals are at high risk of injury. Recent studies have quantified risks and demonstrated a higher risk for aides than for nurses. However, no detailed studies to date have used OSHA injury definitions to allow for better comparability across studies. Methods: We linked records from human resources and occupational health services databases at two large academic hospitals for nurses (n = 5,991) and aides (n = 1,543) in patient care units. Crude rates, rate ratios, and confidence intervals were calculated for injuries involving no days away and those involving at least 1 day away from work. Results: Aides have substantially higher injury rates per 100 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs) than nurses for both injuries involving days away from work (11.3 vs. 7.2) and those involving no days away (9.9 vs. 5.7). Back injuries were the most common days away (DA) injuries, while sharps injuries were the most common no days away (NDA) injuries. Pediatric/neonatal units and non-inpatient units had the lowest injury rates. Operating rooms and the float pool had high DA injury rates for both occupations, and stepdown units had high rates for nurses. NDA injuries were highest in the operating room for both nurses and aides. Conclusions: This study supports the importance of a continuing emphasis on preventing back and sharps injuries and reducing risks faced by aides in the hospital setting. Uniform injury definitions and work time measures can help benchmark safety performance and focus prevention efforts
Health-care; Health-care-personnel; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Medical-services; Nurses; Work-practices; Worker-health; Injuryies; Health-services; Work-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Back-injuries; Lost-work-days; Job-analysis; Information-retrieval-systems; Needlestick-injuries; Operating-rooms; Injury-prevention; Safety-climate; Safety-practices; Risk-factors; Total-Worker-Health; Author Keywords: occupational injuries; OSHA-recordable injuries; hospital injury rates; healthcare workers
Dr. Leslie I. Boden, PhD, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U19-OH-008861; B02012012
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Construction; Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Performing Organization
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division