It may come as a surprise that nursing homes have one of the highest occupational injury and illness rates in the US. This startling fact can be attributed to certain hazards that put staff at a higher risk for accidents and sickness. These include demanding physical tasks, long hours, understaffed facilities, and challenging patients.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to make nursing homes safer for staff. Many solutions are straightforward, but often overlooked by the administration – either because they seem time-consuming or expensive. However, committing to safer workplace practices will undoubtedly end up saving your facility both time and money in the long term. Healthy staff means savings in workers’ compensation, sick leave, health insurance costs, and legal fees.
If you think your facility could use a safety upgrade, check out these four tips for building a safer workplace:
1. Use the right equipment.
Invest in equipment that makes it as easy as possible for staff to ambulate and care for patients. One of the most commonly reported injuries among nursing home workers is low back pain, typically from lifting patients, so proper lifts, beds, and wheelchairs are absolute musts.
2. Commit to proper training.
When implementing new equipment, technology, or procedures, make sure to plan training sessions for staff. Workers should be confident with new tools and protocols, to keep both themselves and residents safe.
3. Enforce strict PPE standards.
We all know how important personal protective equipment (PPE) is for mitigating the spread of pathogens in healthcare facilities, but it’s especially critical in a nursing home. Aging patients are far more vulnerable to disease and can easily pass illness onto staff if the right PPE measures aren’t in place.
4. Report accidents immediately.
A workplace injury should never be swept under the rug. The staff runs the risk of developing more serious complications if their injuries aren’t reported as quickly as possible. If someone gets hurt on the job, make sure they immediately receive proper medical attention and fill out the necessary paperwork.
Do You Need More Staff in Your Facility?
AMEA Healthcare has qualified, dependable, and highly trained individuals ready to provide supplemental facility staffing. Contact us today.