In Maryland and throughout the United States, more than 18 million people work in the health care industry. With so many individuals working in this field, 80 percent of whom are women, it is vital that they have a work environment that promotes safety and health. Nurses face many challenges related to injuries and illnesses. In fact, health care professionals are nearly twice as likely to suffer a workplace injury than private industry employees.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, during 2011 nearly 254,000 reports were made regarding workplace illnesses and injuries for hospital employees. Infectious diseases, needle sticks, back pain and an exposure to allergy-causing materials and toxic substances were the most common work-related illnesses nurses experience. The most common injuries included overexertion, running into something and tripping.