Manual handling is transporting or supporting loads by hand or by bodily force. In 2000, 35% of accidents reported to the health and safety authority were injuries resulting from manual handling activity. This is an important workplace issue that needs to be addressed.
Patient lifting is a serious workplace hazard in the healthcare sector. Particular hazards may include the following:.
Unsafe lifting and handling techniques.
Lack of training.
Failure to provide or use mechanical lifting aids.
These may result in muscular, nerve or disc injuries. Many of these injuries can be easily avoided or the risk minimised. .
General chemical hazards.
Unsafe working practices with chemicals may have a serious effect on health, whether that is from long term or single exposure. Certain chemicals if inhaled can cause asthma, bronchitis or cancer, if swallowed can be poisonous or contact with skin may cause dermatitis or severe irritation. .
Needle stick/ sharp hazards.
Serious biological hazards exist in the hospital, which can result in the contraction of infectious diseases causing serious illness or even death. Exposure to blood or body fluids is the main vectors through which contamination can occur. The most common risks are Hepatitis B or C and HIV contamination through cuts abrasions or accidental self-inoculation.
Work related stress.
There are many causes of work related stress. It affects different people in different ways. Stress can affect all employees, not just managers. It is the cause of a lot of sickness absences and can lead to serious illness such as coronary heart disease and illness caused by high blood pressure. Individuals under stress perform less optimally and stress has an adverse effect on productivity, quality and ultimate safety.
Controlling dangers at work is no different from tackling any other task - recognising the problem, knowing enough about it, deciding what to do and putting the solution into practise.