Safety First in Nursing

Caring for Those that Care for Us

It’s National Nurses Week through May 12 – a perfect opportunity to recognize our healthcare professionals for all that they do, and to consider how we can take better care of these hardworking caregivers.

This very large (nurses make up the largest portion of healthcare professions) and rapidly growing workforce is at high risk for workplace injuries. In fact, nurses face a higher rate of workplace injuries than any other industry and the highest rate of sprains and strains of all professions.

Sprains and strains are the most frequently reported injury among healthcare workers.

  Most strains and sprains affect the shoulders and the lower back.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

Every day, nurses face workplace hazards that can lead to injury while performing their routine duties. Manually handling patients – lifting, repositioning and moving them – requires repetitive strain and overexertion, including excessive bending, twisting and reaching. As a result, nurses face a higher-than-average risk of sustaining musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including injuries to the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage and spinal discs.

Strain and sprain claims happen 40% of the time in this industry and represent 45% of all costs.

NCCI state average for Nursing Homes, Senior Living and Home HealthCare; Accident Year 2020

A musculoskeletal injury can affect a nurse for weeks, months or even years, causing them to lose significant work time, which impacts both the individual and their employer.

In 2020, registered nurses and licensed practical and vocational nurses lost 13 and 12 days of work respectively due to injury and illness.

BLS Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and illnesses 2020

Musculoskeletal disorders in the nursing industry are also costly.

Total strain and sprain claims = $119 million

Average strain and sprain claim = $7,708

NCCI state average for Nursing Homes, Senior Living and Home HealthCare; Accident Year 2020

Proactive Workers’ Compensation Helps Safeguard Nurses

We can take better care of this critical workforce! Musculoskeletal injuries among nurses and other healthcare workers are largely preventable. And insurance carriers and brokers can help to mitigate these risks with a proactive approach to workers’ compensation. 

By including wearable safety technology in workers’ comp policies, we can cut workplace injuries in half – helping nurses to feel better on and off the job. Wearables designed to reduce high risk movements have been proven to lessen injuries over time, especially where high strain and sprain rates are present – like in the nursing profession.

Wearables can provide continuous coaching to help workers change the way they move by making them more aware of the movements they are performing while doing their jobs. Through receiving vibrational alerts that occur when a risky motion is made, users develop safer habits that result in less soreness and fatigue, and fewer injuries and lost work days.

Wearable tech can reduce injury frequency 50-60% and lost work days 72%.

Perr&Knight actuarial analysis, 2021

Additionally, wearables give employers access to a critical new data set that reveals which areas and employees are most at risk, so they can then take proactive steps to further reduce workplace hazards and control loss. 

By providing healthcare employers with a workers’ comp policy that includes free wearable technology, proven to prevent and reduce workplace injuries and claims, we help to ensure a safer, healthier and more productive nursing workforce. Reduced injury rates also help lower premium costs for policyholders.

For National Nurses Week, and beyond, considering the safety and well being of our essential healthcare workers should be top priority. Wearable tech offers a safety solution with noteworthy and longstanding benefits, allowing us to better care for those that care for us!

Kinetic Insurance, in partnership with Nationwide, is pioneering a technology-driven approach to worker safety that benefits insurance carriers, brokers and policyholders. Our workers’ compensation offerings lower costs by equipping workers with wearable technology that is proven to reduce injuries by as much as 60% and lost work days by 72%. Want to learn more? Click here to inquire about being appointed with Kinetic Insurance.