If you’ve ever been seriously injured or ill, you probably relied on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to diagnose and treat your condition. Due to the fast-paced, unpredictable nature of their jobs, healthcare workers often put themselves at risk for injuries and accidents to protect their patients. In fact, a hospital is one of the most dangerous places to work. In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded more work-related injuries and illnesses that resulted in “days away from work” than the construction and manufacturing industries.
At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, we represent healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, emergency rooms, and other medical institutions who have been injured on the job. In many cases, these individuals can collect workers’ compensation benefits to cover their own medical care and lost income while they recover.
Most common healthcare injuries
According to OSHA data, sprains and strains make up more than half of all injuries reported by hospital workers that result in days away from work. Bruises, soreness and pain, broken bones, multiple trauma, and cuts and punctures are also common injuries for healthcare workers.
However, not all employees report their injuries and file for workers’ compensation. OSHA found that 80 percent of nurses say they frequently work with musculoskeletal pain, and 24 percent of nurses and nursing assistants switched shifts or took sick days to recover from unreported injuries.
Most common healthcare accidents
The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on the most common healthcare accidents that result in days away from work. They are:
Overexertion and bodily reaction
In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the rate of overexertion injuries for hospital workers was twice the average of full-time workers across all industries. The greatest risk factor for overexertion injuries in healthcare jobs is the manual lifting, moving, and repositioning of patients.
Slips, trips, and falls
There are many hazards in hospitals that can lead a healthcare worker to slip or trip and fall. Spilled water or liquids can create a slippery walking surface, as can damaged flooring in patient rooms and hallways. Loose cords, hoses, wires, and medical tubing can also contribute to a fall.
Contact with objects
Hospitals are filled with sharp objects that can cause a puncture wound or laceration to a healthcare worker. Contact with surgical instruments, broken glass, needles, and other sharp objects are some of the most common healthcare injuries.
Healthcare workers are at a high risk for being assaulted on the job. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may receive verbal threats or be physically attacked by patients, distraught family members, intruders, and even co-workers.
Exposure to substances
Not only is work in the healthcare industry physically grueling, but healthcare workers are also exposed to airborne pathogens that can cause infections, as well as needlesticks than can transmit bloodborne infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Have you suffered a healthcare workplace injury?
As a medical professional, it can be difficult to assume the role of “patient” and seek the treatment you need following a workplace accident. However, continuing to work when you’re fatigued, hurt, or stressed can compromise the safety of your patients. If you’ve become injured or ill as a result of your job duties, you have a right to file for workers’ compensation to pay for your medical expenses and cover part of your paycheck while you’re off your feet.
At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, we defend the rights of injured healthcare workers every day. You dedicate your life to helping your patients – allow our experienced attorneys help you. Give us a call at (619) 528-9800 today to schedule your free case evaluation.