Healthcare Workers Have a High Risk of Injuries on the Job That Result in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Healthcare workers take care of us when we are injured or ill and teach us how to live better so we stay healthy and live longer. However, by putting others first, they put themselves in danger of suffering serious injuries and work-related illnesses. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OHSA), more workers are injured in the healthcare industry than any other type of work—even more than working in construction or manufacturing.
Six Common Causes of Healthcare Worker Injuries
The healthcare industry encompasses many work settings, such as hospitals, clinics, dental offices, outpatient surgery centers, home health care, and nursing homes. Healthcare workers are not just doctors and nurses. They also include physical therapists, technicians, aids, mechanical and medical equipment maintenance workers, housekeeping employees, food services workers, building and ground maintenance workers, and administrative staff. Some top causes of the injuries they suffer include:
- Overexertion and repetitive stress. Healthcare workers are especially at risk for musculoskeletal disorders—like carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and muscle strains—due to all the lifting, bending, and reaching they must do on a daily basis. Back injuries are also common for those working directly with patients. With obesity on the rise in our country, this danger only worsens for healthcare providers.
- Slip and fall accidents. With all the emphasis on keeping hospitals and other medical facilities clean, floors can become dangerously slippery. Employees rushing to help the next patient can easily fall, suffering fractures, back and neck injuries, and brain damage.
- Needle sticks. Healthcare workers risk injuring themselves when using needles and other sharp instruments while taking care of their patients.
- Illnesses. Healthcare providers are exposed daily to bacterial and viral illnesses and infections from exposure to contagious patients, risking contracting these sometimes deadly diseases themselves.
- Violence. Healthcare workers are at risk of being assaulted by patients or their families. Hospital workers are in even more danger because they must care for violent criminals.
- Understaffing. Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes are often understaffed due to budget constraints or the lack of qualified workers. This increases the risk of injuries to employees who are pressured to work faster and who may not have needed assistance with heavy jobs, such as lifting patients.
If you are a healthcare worker injured on the job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation to help pay your medical bills and lost wages while you are off work healing. It is important that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after your injury to help you file a claim before Idaho’s statute of limitations expires. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and how we can help you.