WGBH Story on Injuries to Nurses and DPH/MHA Efforts to Suppress Findings of Report on the Issue Highlights MNA-Filed Bill to Address this Crisis
In conjunction with a major NPR story on the shocking rate of injuries to nurses and other health care workers, the MNA worked with WGBH to produce a feature on the issue here in Massachusetts (access video at link below). Nurses and health care workers suffer more back/shoulder injuries than any other profession, and in Massachusetts the rate of injury among nursing personnel is twice the national average, among the highest in the nation. The WGBH report highlights a report on this issue that documented this crisis for nurses, which called for the implementation of safer patient handling practices by the health care industry. It also documents how the DPH, under pressure from the MHA suppressed the release of the report as the MHA is concerned about the costs of providing adequate safe patient handling equipment and practices to protect its workers. This story highlights legislation filed by the MNA, An Act Related to Safe Patient Handling, which would require hospitals to provide the equipment and practices to prevent these debilitating injuries. Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler, lead sponsor for the bill, provided powerful arguments for the bill’s passage and countered the MHA’s appalling rationale for opposing the measure. Kudos to MNA Occupational Health and Safety staff for their work with WGBH on this piece, and thanks to Senator Chandler for her continued advocacy on behalf of nurses and patients. And shame on the MHA for once again showing their callous disregard for the safety of their workers and their patients.