According to a Public Citizen report, the injury and illness rate of healthcare workers is alarming. An estimated 653,000 healthcare workers are injured or contract illnesses on the job every year, outweighing the risk of injury in other fields like offices and construction sites by four times. Most people wouldn’t imagine that hospitals and other healthcare facilities would be more dangerous to work in than factories or construction sites, but the statistics are surprising. This information makes it clear that healthcare jobs may be more risky than any other for on the job injuries.
Examples of Healthcare Related Job Accidents
There are many different situations that could lead to an accident or an injury in the healthcare field. Because the healthcare environment is so dynamic and can at times be very fast paced and mentally and physically challenging, almost anything can happen. However, there are some types of injuries that occur more often than others, including:
- Accidental needle sticks with an uncontaminated or contaminated needle when drawing blood or administering medications to a patient
- Back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries that occur as a result of lifting or assisting incapacitated patients
- Exposure to bloodborne pathogens through patient care, including wound care
- Exposure to diseases by being in close proximity with infected patients, such as tuberculosis
- Slip and falls due to exhaustion or running to assist with a trauma or treat a critical patient
Many Workplaces Aren’t Addressing the Risk Healthcare Workers Face
While most hospitals, doctors offices and other healthcare facilities train employees on how best to avoid coming into contact with blood borne pathogens via needle sticks or patient contact, they often fail to address the stress that healthcare workers are under on a daily basis. The American Nurses Association suggests that many healthcare workers are suffering from preventable musculoskeletal injuries as a result of manually handling patients. They point out that in no other field would a person be required to lift 90 lbs. or more without any type of mechanical assistance. OSHA has yet to establish a standard for a safe workplace in the healthcare industry and instead relies on general rules to cite facilities for violations.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured In a Healthcare Facility
If you are a healthcare worker and have been injured at your job, you deserve compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other losses you incur as a result of the incident. A skilled California healthcare workers’ compensation attorney can help you file for benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, however, this may not completely cover the medical care you need, nor will it provide enough compensation if you were temporarily or permanently disabled in the incident.
At the Law Office of Michael J. Holmes, we can help you pursue compensation through your employer, and through a personal injury claim if need be. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation to discuss your case. Call now at (714) 667-6844.