Health care waste exposes hospital workers to greater risks than more typical waste-streams, and the staff who regularly handle, clean up, and dispose of these materials bear the brunt of the hazard. Contact with medical waste can lead to injury, exposure to toxic substances, and even infections of all kinds.
Ergonomics in the health care industry has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), often the result of poor ergonomics at work, account for a disproportionate number of the workplace injuries suffered by health care workers. A team of Canadian researchers found that MSDs made up nearly 75 percent of the reported injuries in their 10-year study of health care workers, for instance