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Health industry's failure to maintain a safe working environment

Health care workers are a vital part of our society. These people work very hard to heal us and keep us healthy. Sadly, recent data has found that health care facilities in California as well as all across America have had a drastic increase in workplace injuries. Health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes are facing a widespread failure to maintain a safe working environment. The increase in health care workers' workplace injuries is a shocking and saddening truth that must be corrected.

Several reasons have contributed to this alarming increase. One of these reasons is the considerable lack of OSHA inspections compared to other workplaces. Health care workers outnumber construction workers two to one; however, for every OSHA inspection into the health care workplace, there are 20 construction site inspections. 

In addition to the lack of workplace safety inspections, OSHA is also ill equipped to deal with the healthcare industry's ergonomic issues. The organization is also unable to properly handle issues of workplace violence. OSHA has standard protocols to use with these issues, but often these problems call for more specific solutions.

OSHA acknowledges that actions must be taken to reduce the number of workplace injuries in the health care industry. However, OSHA has not yet revealed the exact steps the organization plans to take. OSHA wants to formulate ad hoc solutions to some of the issues plaguing nursing homes, but it is unsure how these solutions will pan out on the large scale. One thing that is certain is that if one is a healthcare worker in California and is injured due to one's workplace's failure to maintain a safe working environment, one can always consult with a professional in workers' compensation law to see if one is eligible for a suit.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Hidden Health Care Problem," Taylor Lincoln, July 17, 2013

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