Monday, November 26, 2012
can occur in any workplace, and there were more than 3.8 million work-related
injuries and illnesses last year.
Cornelius Frolik Dayton Daily News Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012
fire Capt. Chip Fashner injured his shoulder in October while extinguishing a
protection is one of the most dangerous types of work in the nation. Last year,
almost 71,000 injuries to U.S. firefighters occurred in the line of duty, and
the rate of nonfatal injury and illness in fire protection was more than three
times the rate for all industries, according to government and industry
just part of the job,” Fashner said.
injuries can occur in any workplace, and there were more than 3.8 million
work-related injuries and illnesses last year.
industries used to be the most dangerous types of work because of the machinery
involved, but injuries today frequently occur in occupations that involve
repetitive physical tasks, such as bending, lifting and carrying heavy objects.
Ohio, nursing home workers account for the largest number of serious workers’
compensation claims in the private sector, largely because employees must lift
and move disabled, uncooperative and elderly patients, experts said.
Nationwide, state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities have the
second highest rate of occupational injuries and illnesses for similar reasons.
industries with high frequencies of injuries and illnesses include steel
foundries, ice manufacturing, skiing facilities and police protection.
in the fishing and logging industries are among the deadliest professions in
the United States, but job-related deaths are rare. Last year, about 153 people
in Ohio died from injuries related to their work.
more people are injured or become ill as a result of their jobs.
2011, employees in the private sector and local and state government jobs
suffered about 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses that did not
result in death, according to a national survey by the U.S. Department of Labor. It was the
same number as in 2010, and the first time the total number of incidents had
not declined since 2002.
Firefighters as athletes
year, fire protection was the most dangerous type of work.
there were about 13.5 nonfatal injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time
workers at local fire departments, according to labor department data. The
incident rate of injury and illness for all industries was 3.8 cases per 100
Fire Protection Association estimates that about 70,090 injuries to firefighters
occurred while in the line of duty in 2011. In addition, firefighters in
thousands of instances were exposed to infectious diseases and hazardous
conditions, such as asbestos, radioactive materials, chemicals and fumes.
fires is very hard, physical work, because firefighters must wear about 80
pounds of gear, and they must lift and carry heavy ladders and hoses up
staircases or feed them through high windows, said Mark Sanders, president of
the Ohio Association of
Professional Fire Fighters, which has 12,000 members.
can call firefighters industrial athletes,” said Sanders, a lieutenant with
Cincinnati Fire Department.
are forced to enter burning structures where there is falling debris that can
strike and injure them. Firefighters are also at risk of tripping and falling
on staircases or uneven or slippery surfaces while taking rescue or
fire-control actions. Smoke inhalation always poses a risk, and firefighters
can be injured helping escort or carry people out of their homes or buildings.
nature of the work is you are running into dangerous situations while other
people are running out,” said Dayton firefighter Gaye Jordan, president of the Dayton Firefighter’s International Association of
Fire Fighters Local 136. “And it’s a physical job, both on the fire and EMS sides,
where some of our patients are bigger, and lifting the cot and lifting patients
can strain your back.”
said he has been injured multiple times while on the job as a Greenville
firefighter. Both of his knees required surgery for torn meniscus that occurred
at emergency scenes.
recently, Fashner sprained his shoulder last month while putting out a house
fire. Fashner missed a shift at work and four hours of a second shift, but he
said firefighters understand that discomfort and pain are part of the job.
and sprains lead our injuries by far,” Fashner said. “In the last few months,
we’ve probably had three lost-time injuries.”
sprains and muscular pain were the most common type of injury to firefighters
in 2011, and accounted for more than half of all cases, the National Fire
Protection Association said. The most common causes of injury at fire scenes
were overexertion and strain (28 percent), and falls, jumps and slips (21
operate in uniquely dangerous work environments that involve flames and smoke.
But the injuries they suffer are fairly common.
Strain of nursing home work
Ohio, sprains and strains account for about 40 percent of injuries that result
in workers’ compensation claims, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. About 30
percent of lost-time claims are caused by overexertion, while another 30
percent are caused by slips, trips and falls, the bureau said.
the frequency rate of injuries and illness in fire protection is just slightly
higher than in state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities,
according to labor department data. The rate of injury and illness in that part
of the nursing industry nationwide is about 13.1 cases per 100 full-time
does not operate state-run nursing facilities, and the injury and illness rate
of all nursing homes is significantly lower in than in government-run
in 2010, employees in private nursing homes in Ohio accounted for about 591
lost-time workers’ compensation claims, more than any other private industry,
according to the most recent state data. Lost-time claims are when employees
are off from work for at least eight days.
in nursing homes are often tied to moving and transporting uncooperative
patients and elderly people with limited mobility, said Abe Al-Tarawneh,
superintendent of the division of safety and hygiene at the Ohio Bureau of
Workers’ Compensation. Nurses often suffer strains to the back, shoulders or
neck from lifting patients, and these injuries can develop into more serious
conditions, such as a bulging disks.
is more exposure for these type of musculoskeletal injuries in nursing homes
than in other places,” Al-Tarawneh said.
said many workplaces are getting safer because of new technology and better
safety programs and training.
work used to have the highest incident rate of injury and illness in the
nation, but computers and machines often have made the jobs safer and less
onerous, experts said.
many jobs have an inherent potential for injury, and injuries will arise even
when workers follow strict safety precautions, said Gary Plunkett, an attorney
with Hochman & Plunkett, a law firm in Dayton that handles workers’
who do physical things for a living will have a certain percentage of accidents
that will happen no matter what you do — period,” he said. “If you are a nurse
or nurse’s aid, and you are lifting, carrying and washing people from time to
time, there is a risk you will throw out your back and get seriously hurt.”
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