HEU health care workers in the community are exposed to many workplace hazards and challenges. Some of these hazards include physical conditions such as cramped work spaces; exposure to infectious diseases (like HIV, Hepatitis) and environmental agents (dust, mold), biological and chemical hazards; work site location (i.e. Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside) and the risk of client violence, particularly when working short-staffed or alone.
People who work primarily in clients’ homes are also exposed to health and safety risks. Poor lighting, broken stairs and unsanitary conditions are all issues that workers have the right to bring forward to their employers.
Home support workers should not be sent into a client’s home until a risk assessment has been completed by a case manager or nurse in-charge.
Statistics show that 40 per cent of community health workers get injured on the job.