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Hospitals: The Most Dangerous Place to Work?

Though not widely recognized, working in a hospital can be surprisingly hazardous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the likelihood of injury or illness resulting in days away from work is higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing—two industries that are traditionally thought to be relatively hazardous.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Case and Demographic Incidence Rates, private industry. In this graph, “hospitals” represents NAICS code 622, “Hospitals.”


Occupational injuries and illnesses can increase a hospital’s workers’ compensation insurance costs, disrupt staffing and workflow, lead to the early exit of experienced staff, and damage workplace morale. The downstream effect on patient risk and satisfaction is also a major concern.

When an employee gets hurt on the job, hospitals pay the price in many ways—some obvious, some not. Some numbers to ponder:

$15,860: The average workers’ compensation claim for a hospital injury between 2006 and 2011, according to a national survey of roughly 1,000 hospitals. Another data source suggests an average cost of $22,300 for claims involving lost time, compared with $900 for non-lost-time claims. If a hospital self-insures (as a majority do), they bear the full cost. If a hospital does not self-insure, their claim experience can still affect their insurance premiums.

$2 Billion:  Nationwide, the total annual expense in workers’ compensation losses if the average hospital experiences $0.78 losses for every $100 of payroll.

$27,000 to $103,000:  Estimated cost of replacing a nurse, including separation, recruiting, hiring, orientation, and training.  Some estimates also account for lost productivity while a replacement is hired and trained. Injuries and stress are common reasons why nurses leave the profession.

Occupational Health RNs are often frustrated by the lack of time they are able to be on the hospital floor proactively solving and training to prevent workplace health and safety issues.

They commonly cite two areas that inhibit them from doing what they feel would be the most effective work for their employers:

  1. Time associated with paper records and required reporting, and
  2. Lack of an electronic system to help them understand trends and proactively solve issues, especially by job function.

Venato was built with the goal of helping healthcare organizations simplify and automate occupational healthcare management. We understand the costs of paper records and the even larger costs of an overburdened occ health team unable to focus on proactively preventing hospital workplace injuries.

To find out the costs to your hospital, please contact us and a qualified Venato team member will enter your specific numbers to generate a custom financial assessment for your hospital.

Many hospitals find that they can pay for Venato software simply with the cost savings of eliminating paper records.  Also –  don’t forget to ask about our risk-free, money back Satisfaction Guarantee!

Note: Information for this blog was sourced from “Integrating Patient and Workplace Safety Programs” and from “OSHA Worker Safety in Your Hospital”


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