When we think of workers in all industries and fields, healthcare workers are probably the ones who are exposed to the largest list of occupational hazards. In a regular shift, for instance, a nurse may be exposed to hazardous biological and chemical materials, viruses, infectious diseases, sharp objects, etc. With that in mind, in this article we want to provide some healthcare worker safety tips, looking to contribute to the health and safety of these essential workers.
According to the government of Ontario, there are more than 880,000 workers are employed in the province’s health care sector and the range of risks they are exposed to is considerable, as health care ranks second highest for lost time injuries (LTI) among all sectors (data from 2016 reports). These are injuries on the job that result in the loss of productive work time.
Considering these facts, in Ontario the government saw the need to create a Health Care Health and Safety Program that enforces provincial workplace safety laws in the health care sector. It was designed to protect workers in settings like long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, treatment clinics, and professional offices and agencies, including medical laboratories.
Ontario, however, is not the only territory that has a program to look after its healthcare workers. Other places are implementing theirs, especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) called on governments and health care leaders to “address persistent threats to the health and safety of health workers and patients,” and amid the pandemic, WHO representatives said that healthcare workers play a “vital role” in society and that “no country, hospital or clinic can keep its patients safe unless it keeps its health workers safe.”
These days, when healthcare workers are affected by occupational hazards but also longer shifts, shortages of skilled professionals, and increased patient and resident needs due to several factors; protecting them and helping them perform their duties in safer environments seems to be the best way to ensure the stability of all healthcare systems.
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These healthcare worker safety tips apply during the pandemic and beyond:
In closing, we believe that on top of these healthcare worker safety tips, doctors, nurses, PSWs, DSWs, and everyone in the healthcare field should be informed of the risks they are exposed to on the job, including, as previously stated, the exposure to hazardous biological, chemical and physical agents, slips, trips and falls, workplace violence, contact with and struck-by-object injuries, infections and infectious diseases, and construction hazards. We are certain that knowledge is key to keeping healthcare workers protected and healthy in their workplaces so they can safely work on protecting others.
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What do you think of our healthcare worker safety tips? If you think of any others, leave us a comment below.
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