OSH risks of health and social care workers working in clients' homes in Finland

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Abstract

In Finland, the number and frequency of accidents at work in the health and social services industry have increased between 2010 and 2020. The need for services provided at home has increased and will increase in the future. Results of a previous survey study conducted for occupational safety and health (OSH) specialists showed that the safety protections of home care workers were lower compared to those employed in hospitals and institutions. The client's home as a working environment is challenging and the employer's opportunities to ensure the safety and health of working conditions are limited. Health and social care workers meet multiple OSH challenges while working in an individual's home. Health care workers in general are exposed to many dangers, examples of which include biological hazards such as needle puncture infections or other infectious diseases, chemical hazards including medicines and disinfectants used in cancer treatments, physical hazards such as ionizing radiation, ergonomic risks, for example, when dealing with a patient, and psychosocial risks such as violence and shift work.This article is about the OSH risks of health and social care workers while working at clients' homes in Finland. Three municipalities, two private companies and one non-profit organization participated in the study. The data for this paper was collected through online survey (n = 160) and interviews (n = 55). Altogether, the interviews included 89 participants. The participants were, for example, nurses, personal assistants, supervisors, head of home care, or from the safety organization. The focus is on questions related to what the participants and respondents saw as OSH risks and challenges in their work performed in the client's home. The process and methods will be described in detail in the article.The results of the preliminary data analysis indicate that work of the health and social care workers has many risks. According to survey, the main risks are related to, for example home as a working environment, physical ergonomics, mental, psychosocial and ethical burden, organizing and scheduling the working day, alarming aid, lack of peer support and cooperation with others. This paper contributes to prior research by providing new information about OSH risks of health and social care workers while working at clients' home. It is important to recognize the risks because it is the foundation of safety work. Only risks that are known can be managed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Systems Engineering and Design (IHSED 2023): Future Trends and Applications
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Conference on Human Systems Engineering and Design: Future Trends and Applications (IHSED 2023). September 27–29, 2023, University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia
EditorsWaldemar Karwowski, Tareq Ahram, Mario Milicevic, Darko Etinger, Krunoslav Zubrinic
PublisherAHFE International
Pages292-298
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-958651-88-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Conference on Human Systems Engineering and Design: Future Trends and Applications - University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 27 Sept 202329 Sept 2023
Conference number: 5
https://www.ihsed.org/

Publication series

NameAHFE International
Volume112
ISSN (Electronic)2771-0718

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Systems Engineering and Design: Future Trends and Applications
Abbreviated titleIHSED
Country/TerritoryCroatia
CityDubrovnik
Period27/09/2329/09/23
Internet address

Keywords

  • safety
  • social care
  • health care
  • risk

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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