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Health Care Workers Have Higher Injury Rate

Doctor Working Health care professionals work in environments that are supposed to be safe for patients. But in the process of keeping patients safe and helping them heal, health care workers often hurt themselves. One new report found that rising workplace accidents are one symptom of toxic work environments for health care providers.

The health care industry has an injury rate of 5.6 per 100 full-time employees, according to a report by the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation. The most common injuries are musculoskeletal injuries that occur when workers are lifting and moving patients. Health care professionals may also be exposed to infections and pathogens in blood.

The head of the institute says that it is "horrendous" that health care, particularly hospitals, face these hazards. Groups like the National Patient Safety Foundation are studying the issue because health care work environments can affect the quality of care that patients receive. In addition to health risks on the job, the report found, workers may also suffer from low morale.

The report recommends that health care organizations track worker injuries to find the causes and eliminate them. In many cases, workers who are injured are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, workers may also be able to hold their employers or third parties accountable through personal injury lawsuits.

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