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Understanding more about nursing injuries

North Carolina residents may be interested in understanding the injury risks associated with the nursing field. Nurses actually suffer more back-related injuries than nearly any other occupation. They also suffer arm and shoulder injuries that often affect their everyday lives. Over 30,000 nursing injuries are reported on an annual basis. The primary cause of these injuries has been attributed to the physical stress related to lifting and moving patients.

In 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed changes to prevent these "ergonomic" injuries in hospitals, but the legislation was ultimately defeated. The only workers to rival the injury rates realized by orderlies and nursing assistants during 2013 were firefighters. The injury rates for nursing assistants and orderlies were two to three times higher than those realized by construction workers, correction officers and the police.

Many nurses still suffer these injuries today because there has been no consensus on how to implement safety changes to all hospitals across the country. Studies have shown that a number of hospitals have been successful in reducing the rate of these injuries by investing in special lifting equipment and training medical staff on how to properly use these tools to move patients into position without enduring undue stress or risking injury. Hospitals adopting this strategy were able to reduce the rate of these workplace injuries by 40 to 80 percent.

Employees who suffer injuries caused by the conditions at their workplace may benefit from confiding in legal counsel. Lawyers may be prepared to investigate the complaint and help employees identify the most advisable course of action. Legal counsel may be able to help gather evidence for a filing a lawsuit or the proper documentation required for successfully filing a workers' compensation claim.

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