Home health care workers provide hands-on, long-term care and personal assistance to patients with disabilities and chronic health conditions in the privacy and comfort of the patient’s own home. While these services play a vital role in ongoing patient care, the home setting can be a challenging and dangerous work environment. One of the reasons in-home care is such a challenging work setting is that the care provider has little or no regulatory control over the cleanliness, layout, and other factors of their environment. This unfortunately exposes home healthcare workers to a greater risk of injury, illness or other accidents on the job.
Home health aides can easily be injured by a variety of hazards they encounter through the course of their day. Here are a few of the most common ailments suffered by home healthcare workers:
- Overexertion/Bodily Strain– According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare workers are over seven times more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) than workers in other industry sectors. The home healthcare industry can be particularly demanding, taking great physical tolls on the body due to lifting, straining and other strenuous activities. Strains and sprains affecting the shoulders, lower back, wrist and ankles are all common to home healthcare professionals.
- Violent injuries– The OHSA also reports that health care workers are at a higher risk of being violently assaulted at work by patients, their families, friends and even pets. Aggression and violence from patient is extremely common as home healthcare providers interact with agitated, incoherent and impaired individuals.
- Slips and falls– Slips, trips and falls are the number one most commonly cited workplace injury and workers’ compensation claim in America. Home health aides face countless exposure to such calamities. From crowded work spaces to fallen fluids, there a wide variety of hazards which can lead aids to lose their footing. These accidents can culminate in even greater injuries ranging from bruises and sprains to broken bones and head injuries.
- Infections, toxins, and diseases– Patients’ homes are very different than a sterile hospital environments and present a unique set of challenges and hazards for home healthcare providers. For example, when working in a patient’s home healthcare aides can face exposure to poor indoor air quality, lead paint, toxic substances, household mold and fungi, vermin and a number of other common domestic hazards that are associated with negative health effects. These exposures are in addition to the traditional healthcare hazards such as risk of infectious diseases, blood borne pathogens and other illnesses.
When it comes to protecting workers and staff members, it is important that home healthcare providers are on top of their game. At Manchester Specialty Programs, we specialize in insuring the home health care industry and offer a comprehensive program exclusively designed for this segment. Home Healthcare Providers program offer the coverage this sector needs, including Workers’ Compensation, Professional Liability, Employment Practices Liability, and much more. To learn more about our Home Healthcare Providers Workers’ Comp coverage and all our offerings, contact us today at (855) 972-9399.