Hazards by Hospital Area
Visit the OSHA Web site
to use their interactive tool to identify occupational hazards specific
to each area of the hospital environment.
Types of Hazards
- Back Injuries
Low back injuries are the leading occupational health problem affecting healthcare
workers and are increasing among nurses and nurses’ assistants.
- Latex Allergy
Latex gloves have been used to prevent transmission of many infectious diseases
to healthcare workers. However, latex is hazardous to some healthcare workers, resulting
in a range of health effects from minor dermatitis to asthma, life-threatening anaphylaxis
and respiratory arrest, similar to a bee sting allergic reaction.
An estimated 600,000 - 800,000 needlestick injuries (nsi) occur annually in the
United States. About half of these injuries go unreported.
- Workload Issues
Changes in work organization resulting from restructuring, downsizing, and layoffs
within the healthcare industry are resulting in decreased staffing levels, increased
workloads and time pressures, and longer hours of work.
- Workplace Violence
Of the medical professionals, nurses suffer the largest number and the highest rate
of non-fatal workplace violence.
- Toxic Chemicals
Despite the existence of OSHA chemical hazard communications, most healthcare workers
are unaware of the risks of these agents and the appropriate control measures.