Survey finds major safety concerns among healthcare staff

By Leila Hawkins
Healthcare workers are worried about Covid-19, research shows...

Less than 30 per cent of US healthcare workers feel safe going to work, according to a new survey. 

The national survey by Infrared Cameras Inc (ICI), manufacturers of thermal cameras and infrared systems, also found that almost 40 per cent of respondents think that their workplace is at risk for lawsuits due to lax safety measures. Nearly 20 per cent reported they would consider suing their own employer if they contracted Covid-19 due to inadequate safety measures on the job.

Gary Strahan, CEO at ICI, commented on the findings: "As the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing again nationally and around the world, healthcare facilities need to rethink safety measures to ensure they're doing everything they can to protect healthcare workers on the frontlines. Our survey found that, despite safety measures already in place, the majority of healthcare workers do not feel safe at work."

The survey also showed the following: 

  • Three-fourths of healthcare workers believe their organisations should implement additional safety measures
  • The majority of respondents (89 per cent) think their workplace should require temperature screenings, with 71 per cent saying they would feel safer at work if this measure were to be implemented
  • 80 per cent of respondents say that masks are required for all patients and visitors;
  • 70 per cent reported that their workplace has hand sanitising stations at entrances and exits
  • Less than half think that required masks for staff, patients and visitors are the most effective safety measure

In addition, some facilities have begun to alert employees when positive Covid-19 cases are identified in their buildings, however only 63 per cent of respondents listed that their workplaces take part in notifying them of confirmed cases. This process of informing employees and contact tracing can be crucial for organisations seeking to mitigate the risks and avoid lawsuits due to inadequate safety measures.

Strahan says that biorisk planning is quickly becoming the next phase of combatting Covid-19. "The biorisk surrounding Covid-19 is unlike anything we've faced in recent history, and the mismanagement of the risk can lead to disastrous lawsuits" he said. 

"Requiring PPE simply isn't enough to properly mitigate biorisk threats. Healthcare facilities must adopt a comprehensive biorisk management plan, complete with additional safety measures including onsite temperature screenings to protect both employees and employers. ICI's biorisk platform provides organisations a solution to protect their workforce and, ultimately, their business."

2020 saw a rise in the use of thermal cameras as a way to detect Covid-19 infections. ICI has been developing infrared imaging technology since 1995. 

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