SNF workers ill, hurt most often

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Nursing home workers own the worst rates of employee injuries and illnesses among U.S. workforces, notes a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The illness and injury incidence rate for state-run nursing homes was an eye-popping 13%. Overall, the industry posted a 7.3% rate for private-sector nursing and residential care facilities.

That rate was much higher than for construction workers (3.6%) and miners (2.7%).

Long-term care workers suffer an inordinate amount of back and other musculoskeletal injuries, which are often inflicted when moving or transferring residents. Nursing unions and federal labor agencies have campaigns underway to eliminate or at least reduce musculoskeletal injuries.

Federal legislation also has been introduced that would bring protections for nursing home staff. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) unveiled HR 2480 in June in the U.S. House.

Earlier this year, insurance analyst Allsup issued a similar report based on 2011 BLS data. It tabbed nursing homes as the fifth-most dangerous place to work. 


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