Most Common Injuries in Disability Industry: The Role of ISO 45001
Mar 09, 2023
The disability industry encompasses a wide range of services and job roles, so the most common injuries can vary depending on the specific work environment and tasks performed. However, some of the most common injuries in the disability industry may include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries: These injuries are caused by strains, sprains, or overuse of muscles, tendons, and joints. They can result from lifting, transferring, or repositioning patients or clients, and are common among personal care assistants and other direct support workers.
- Back injuries: Back injuries are a type of musculoskeletal injury that is particularly common in the disability industry due to the physical demands of the job. They can be caused by lifting or transferring clients, performing repetitive motions, or sitting or standing for long periods.
- Slips, trips, and falls: Slip, trip, and fall injuries can occur in any workplace, but are especially common in the disability industry due to the presence of mobility aids, uneven surfaces, and other hazards. Workers who provide care in clients' homes may also be at increased risk of falls due to unfamiliar surroundings.
- Needlestick injuries: Workers in the disability industry may be at risk of needlestick injuries if they provide medical care or assistance with medication administration.
- Workplace violence: Workers in the disability industry may be at risk of verbal or physical abuse from clients or family members. This can result in a range of injuries, from bruises and cuts to more serious harm.
It's important for workers in the disability industry to take steps to prevent these and other injuries, such as using proper lifting techniques, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, and being aware of potential hazards in the workplace.
There are many controls that can be implemented in the disability industry to reduce the risk of injuries. Some examples include:
- Safe lifting and transfer techniques: One of the most common causes of injuries in the disability industry is improper lifting and transfer of clients. To reduce the risk of these injuries, workers should be trained on safe lifting and transfer techniques, and provided with equipment such as transfer belts, sliding sheets, and hoists to assist with transfers.
- Hazard assessments: Conducting hazard assessments of the workplace can help to identify potential risks and hazards that could lead to injuries. Once hazards are identified, appropriate controls can be put in place to mitigate the risks.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Workers in the disability industry may be exposed to a variety of hazards, including infectious diseases and chemicals. Providing appropriate PPE, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection, can help to protect workers from these hazards.
- Workplace violence prevention: Workers in the disability industry may be at risk of violence from clients or family members. Implementing measures to prevent workplace violence, such as developing a violence prevention policy, providing training on how to de-escalate volatile situations, and implementing security measures such as panic buttons, can help to reduce the risk of injuries from violence.
- Ergonomic assessments: Repetitive motions and awkward postures can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Conducting ergonomic assessments of workstations and equipment can help to identify potential risks and allow for modifications to be made to reduce the risk of injury.
- Training: Providing workers with training on how to identify and avoid hazards, and how to properly use equipment and tools, can help to reduce the risk of injuries.
By implementing these controls, businesses in the disability industry can help to reduce the risk of injuries to workers and clients and create a safer and more productive workplace.
How can ISO 45001:2018 reduce injuries in the disability sector?
ISO 45001:201 is an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems that provides a framework for organisations to identify and control their health and safety risks, reduce injuries and illnesses, and improve their overall safety performance.
By implementing an ISO 45001-based management system, businesses in the disability industry can proactively identify and address potential hazards and risks that may lead to injuries or other health and safety issues. This can include developing policies and procedures for safe lifting and transfer of clients, implementing measures to prevent slips, trips, and falls, providing training on workplace violence prevention, and establishing protocols for handling needlestick injuries.
By adhering to ISO 45001 standards, businesses can not only reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries and illnesses, but also improve the overall well-being of their employees and clients. Additionally, implementing an ISO 45001-based management system can demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety to clients, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders, which can help to enhance the business's reputation and competitive advantage.
To learn more about ISO 45001:2018, click here
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