Healthcare workplace violence injuries increase from 2012 to 2014

Between 2012 and 2014, workplace violence injury rates increased for all healthcare job classifications and nearly doubled for nurse assistants and nurses, according to data from the Occupational Health Safety Network.

A total of 112 U.S. facilities in 19 states reported 10,680 Occupational Safety and Health Administration-recordable injuries occurring from January 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014. There were 4,674 patient handling and movement injuries; 3,972 slips, trips and falls; and 2,034 workplace violence injuries. Incidence rates for patient handling; slips, trips, and falls; and workplace violence were 11.3, 9.6 and 4.9 incidents per 10,000 worker-months, respectively. Worker-months are defined as the number of full-time equivalent workers at a facility (or group of facilities) multiplied by the number of months worked within the reporting period.

Nurse assistants were more likely to sustain injuries than workers in other job categories, according to the data. Nurse assistants had more than twice the injury rate of nurses for patient handling and workplace violence injuries. Injury rates for slips, trips and falls were highest among nursing assistants, nurses and nonpatient care staff such as maintenance and security staff.

Overall, nurses (38 percent) and nursing assistants (19 percent) accounted for 57 percent of identified OSHA-recordable injuries.

The report's authors note that focused interventions could mitigate some injuries.

"Data analyzed through OHSN identify where resources, such as lifting equipment and training, can be directed to potentially reduce patient handling injuries," they wrote. "Using OHSN can guide institutional and national interventions to protect health care personnel from common, disabling, preventable injuries."

 

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