Nursing homes: More dangerous than coal mines?

The rate of workplace injuries within nursing homes during 2010 was more than double the national average among private industry employers, and was markedly higher than most manufacturing, mining and construction jobs, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. (Click here to see injury rates for all industries reported.)

Nursing homes reported a rate of 8.6 total recordable cases of nonfatal injury per 100 full-time employees, compared to private industry’s overall incidence rate of 3.5, which had declined from the previous year.

That high rate in nursing homes also resulted in elevated time spent away from work due to occupational illness or injury with a rate of 5.6 cases per 100 full-time employees.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a statement that the administration remains concerned that healthcare and social assistance workers “had one of the highest rates of injuries and illness at 5.2 cases for every 100 workers.

“The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to work with employers, workers and unions in this industry to reduce these risks,” she continued.

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