As someone who makes your living working as a nurse in Ohio, you probably understand quite well that aches, pains and other ailments are often an unavoidable part of your profession. Some of the biggest injury risks you face working as a nurse, however, result from heavy lifting. In some cases, lifting-related work injuries are preventable and avoidable.

According to Healthcare Business & Technology, injuries that develop due to lifting heavy or immobile patients are the most substantial threat facing today’s nurses. Just how prevalent is the problem? Each year, American nurses suffer about 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries at their places of employment that are bad enough to keep them from working. In fact, the injury risks today’s nurses face are so severe that nurses are now more likely to suffer on-the-job injuries than construction workers, manufacturers and others who work in notoriously dangerous environments.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Is there anything you can do while working as a nurse to reduce your risk of suffering a lifting-related injury? One thing many health care employers are starting to do as a way of enhancing the safety of their nurses and other staff members is invest in lift-assistance equipment, which helps take some of the physical strain off of lifting or moving heavy patients.

Many smaller-scale hospitals and health care environments do not have room in their budgets to purchase this expensive equipment, though, which can make workers more likely to strain themselves. Similarly, many health care employers advise their workers to lift heavy patients in teams, but the understaffing issues that permeate many American health care settings can make this difficult or unrealistic.

Lifting-related injuries can impact your quality of life substantially, and in some cases, you can feel the effects for the remainder of your days. The more your employer does to prevent lifting-related injuries in your place of business, the better off you will likely be.