With more healthcare moving into homes, the risk of injury among home care and home healthcare workers is increasing. That is what prompted Greensboro, NC-based Key Risk, a national provider of workers compensation insurance, to recently announce plans to expand its footprint nationally.

“Home healthcare and hospice tend to have fewer losses compared to the broader healthcare sector. However, while the frequency for this industry is much lower, severity (of injuries) is higher,” Key Risk President Scott Holbrook told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

The data bears that out. A 2016 study by health research firm PHI found occupational injury rates for direct care workers to be among the highest. The injury rate per 10,000 workers was 144 injuries among personal care aides, 116 injuries among home health aides, and 337 injuries among nursing assistants. By comparison, the overall rate for all occupations was 100 injuries per 10,000 workers. 

The most recent data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found nursing assistants had the highest incident rate of days away from work than any occupation.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common injuries among home care and home healthcare workers are sprains, strains and musculoskeletal injuries from lifting patients.