Health and Safety

Caring for a patient shouldn’t turn YOU into a patient. But the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers in-patient healthcare settings to have some of the highest worker injury rates of all U.S. workplaces.

Nurses are regularly exposed to violence, musculoskeletal injuries, chemical and biological exposures, and a host of other hazardous conditions. All too often, nurses are forced to work with inadequate staffing levels, insufficient safety equipment and limited training.

Our best protection is a strong union. NYSNA nurses are working together to improve working conditions for all healthcare workers. Our Health and Safety committees, delegates, and local leaders are our first line of defense. Attend NYSNA’s Health and Safety Committee training to learn more about workplace hazards and building a strong health and safety committee in your facility.

If you have specific questions about health and safety hazards at work, talk to your NYSNA delegate or representative right away. They will work with NYSNA’s Occupational Health and Safety Representative to answer your questions and help improve the safety of your workplace.

If you are injured on the job, or made ill from a workplace exposure, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Workplace violence is an epidemic in healthcare facilities. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nurses and direct care aides experience more violence than any other hospital personnel.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses experience some of the highest back injury rates of all professions in the U.S.

NYSNA has developed health and safety trainings on topics affecting healthcare workers. All workshops provide CE credits and can be held at a NYSNA office or facility location.

Nurses are exposed to numerous infectious diseases in the healthcare setting.

Check out links to more health and safety information, including regulatory agencies, the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, occupational health clinics, and Safety and Health advocacy groups in your area.