Heidi is an occupational health nurse working at a printing factory.
Heidi is an occupational health nurse working at a printing factory. Heidi typically starts her day by checking the attendance of the employees. She also checks whether any injuries or incidents were reported while she was away from factory. Heidi usually prepares a daily report for the manager of the facility regarding any illnesses, injuries or incidents involving employees. She also reports changes in the physical environment of the factory such as noise levels, temperature, or ventilation.
One day Allen, a factory worker, visits Heidi in her office. He states that he is experiencing pain in his lower back and that he is having difficulty working with the pain. Heidi performs a physical examination of Allen and requests he fill out an injury report form.
As per protocol, Heidi begins a full investigation of the incident. Heidi reviews the other back injury cases that she encountered within the year. She realizes that there has been three cases involving back problems within the last eight months. She also notices that these employees all operated the same machine, which was bought and installed in the factory a year ago. As Heidi continues her investigation, she observes current employees while they are operating the machine. She then interviews them to understand their experiences of working with this machine. Additionally, she reviews the machine’s manual and contacts the manufacturer to better understand the suggested operating guidelines.
After Heidi finishes her investigation, she concludes that the current staffing of four employees operating the machine is not safe and that at least six employees are required in order to operate the machine. This is because there is a lot lifting in the process of operating the machine.
Heidi begins to write a detailed report to the manager. She recognizes that for the company every dollar and every minute counts. In her report she explains the lost work time and the decreased productivity due to the back injuries, which is related to the decreased staffing levels. Heidi compares the savings due to the reduced staff levels to the productivity loss due to back injuries and shows the results to the manager.
1. Which occupational health nursing roles/responsibilities did Heidi successfully fulfill?
2. How did Heidi work to match occupational health, safety, and environmental goals to the factory’s goals and objectives?
3. What more do you think Heidi could do as an occupational health nurse to ensure that the employees have a good understanding of how to safely operate the machine?
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