13. Health Hazards and Emergency Care for Health Care Workers

  1. Michael I. Greenberg MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACPM, FACOEM
  1. Amy J. Behrman MD

Published Online: 18 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444329629.ch13

Occupational Emergency Medicine

Occupational Emergency Medicine

How to Cite

Behrman, A. J. (2011) Health Hazards and Emergency Care for Health Care Workers, in Occupational Emergency Medicine (ed M. I. Greenberg), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444329629.ch13

Editor Information

  1. Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author Information

  1. Division of Occupational Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 FEB 2011
  2. Published Print: 11 FEB 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405180719

Online ISBN: 9781444329629



  • health care worker occupational hazards


Hospitals and clinics are frequently hazardous places to work, and health care worker recordable injury rates are substantially higher than those for most other occupations. In the most recently available Occupational Safety and Health Administration survey (2006), nursing aides and orderlies had the highest lost-time injury rates of any occupational group in the United States. Emergency department staff and prehospital emergency workers rank high in injury rates within health care. Health care workers are potentially exposed to a wide range of hazards that vary with their job responsibilities and hospital setting. This chapter provides detailed discussions of how to deal with these hazards, which may include bloodborne pathogens, respiratory pathogens, contact pathogens, allergens, radiation, mechanical or ergonomic injuries, hazardous materials, violence, impairment risk, and work stress.