Workplace Hazards

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.
  • Needlestick
    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.

Founded in 1908, WSNA is the professional organization representing more than 16,000 registered nurses in Washington State. WSNA effectively advocates for the improvement of health standards and availability of quality health care for all people; promotes high standards for the nursing profession; and advances the professional and economic development of nurses.

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The Washington State Nurses Association Continuing Education Provider Program (OH-231, 9-1-2015) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurses Association (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.