When most people think of dangerous jobs, industries such as mining, agriculture and construction come to mind. All too often, nursing homes aren't even on the radar, but if you look at workplace injury reports, nursing home employee wellness is a serious concern. The injury rates are nearly triple the private industry average, but the following tips can help reduce nursing home employee injuries.
Hire Right the First Time
When hiring nursing home staff, employers often only focus on a friendly smile and polite demeanor. While these attributes are important, it's essential to remember that nursing home employees will often have to lift patients and even deal with combative community occupants.
This is why it's so important to hire individuals who are physically capable of handling the sometimes grueling demands of nursing home work. Choosing the right staff from the start can make training and nursing home or any industry health and wellness programs more likely to succeed.
Implement Nursing Home Employee Wellness Programs
Companies in almost every industry now hire employee wellness program professionals to assist their staff. While this may merely sound like another expense, the truth is that it can save money on workers' compensation insurance, reduce missed work days due to injury and decrease recordable injuries.
Employee wellness professionals provide a variety of services. These include pre-shift warm-ups, human performance assessments, job coaching, injury rehab and many other safety-oriented services. These all equate to a reduction in potential injuries in nursing home environments.
Address Injuries Immediately
Make sure that the nursing home staff understands that all injuries need to be reported immediately. In many instances, the professionals involved in the wellness programs at work can engage in injury-reduction methods immediately.
Quick response to these incidents will also reduce the likelihood of minor injuries turning serious over time. Employees should be informed that a failure to report injuries may affect their ability to collect workers' compensation. This fact alone will likely motivate them to report injuries rather than attempting to continue work and exacerbating the distressed area.
While many people may not realize it, working in a nursing home is a dangerous job. Fortunately, the appropriate proactive measures, combined with nursing home employee wellness programs and quick reactions to incidents, can make this care environment a much safer place.