Article By: Heather Matthews, AWARE-NS OHS Specialist
Any guess as to the top 10 body parts injured in Healthcare and Community Services workplaces? If you were to ask anyone in these sectors what is the number one body part injured, most would get it right. Backs are the number one body part injured in all six groups (Hospitals, Special Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Ambulance Services, Homecare and Family & Social Services) within our sector. We have developed a chart of the
“Top 10 Body Parts Injured” for each of the six groups that make up Health and Community Services. Shoulder injuries are number two in all groups except Special Care Homes and Homecare, where Multiple Body Parts is their number two.
If we look at the top three body parts injured (back, shoulder and multiple body parts) they make up 69% -74% of all injuries in all six group except for Family and Social Services where their top three only comprise 57% of the body parts injured.
Although we have a huge range of workplace settings (facility based, mobile workplaces and client homes) within our sector the injury result outcomes are much the same. These statistics clear identity the problem but getting to the root cause is much more challenging. There are many factors that may lead to these injuries, one of which is hazard identification and elimination.
The level of hazard identification may vary greatly from organization to organization throughout our sector but most understand the risks that are leading to injuries within their own organizations. We may understand what the hazard is and the outcome results from the identified hazard but are unclear as to how to eliminate it. The inability to eliminate identified hazards that are identified is again a multifaceted issue. There are many contributing factors such as resources (human and mechanical), education, training and workplace culture.

What can you do?

  1. Hazard risk assessments for all units or work areas
    There are many links to tools are available in our current newsletter
  2. JSA (Joint Safety Analysis) perform a JSA for each tasked performed
    Four basic stages in conducting a JSA are:

    • selecting the job to be analyzed
    • breaking the job down into a sequence of steps
    • identifying potential hazards
    • determining preventive measures to overcome these hazards
  3. Review incident reports and near misses and follow through on corrective action
  4. Develop a continuous improvement plan with a focus on elimination of hazards

Top Ten Body Parts Injured By Group in Health Care and Community Services

top 10 body parts

About The Author

Heather Headshot WebHeather Matthews is AWARE-NS’s Occupational Health & Safety Specialist. She received her Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Housing and Facility Management from Mount Saint Vincent University (1989). In 2010, she completed her Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University. Most recently was the Corporate Health and Safety Manager for Ocean Nutrition Canada a Global Bio Science company where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the Health and Safety program. Developing a strong safety culture though leadership, training and education has been her primary focus.