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Four Work Hazards for Healthcare Professionals

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Four Work Hazards for Healthcare ProfessionalsThe healthcare profession has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries among any industry in the U.S. Employees regularly perform physical labor and are exposed to hazardous substances and conditions. All employees are at risk of injury or illness when working at a hospital, whether they are doctors and nurses or the support staff. As with any industry, healthcare professionals are entitled to workers’ compensation if they suffer a work-related injury. Here are four common causes of workplace injuries for healthcare workers:

  1. Handling Patients: Nurses and attendants suffer musculoskeletal injuries at a higher rate than the workers in other industries, including construction workers. Nurses often need to carry, move, or reposition patients who are incapable of doing so themselves. The increasing rate of patient obesity makes moving them more difficult. Nurses can suffer shoulder and back injuries because of the repeated strain and fatigue of moving patients. Some nurses are compelled to change careers because their bodies cannot handle the strain.
  2. Slipping: Slips, trips, and falls are the second-most-common cause of injuries for healthcare workers, after overexertion. Cleanliness is important in a healthcare environment, but workers can accidentally spill liquids or powders, which may create a slippery surface. Hospitals are filled with equipment that busy workers can accidentally walk into or trip over. The equipment may cause further injury if an employee falls onto it.
  3. Exposure to Illness and Hazardous Substances: Healthcare workers often interact with patients who have infectious diseases. Their work may also require them to handle hazardous chemicals or radioactive materials. Wearing protective clothing and frequent sanitization reduces the risk of exposure but does not eliminate it. Employees can develop chronic illnesses from their exposure, which limits their ability to work and decreases their quality of life.
  4. Workplace Violence: Patients who are sick or injured may behave violently towards the healthcare professionals who are trying to help them. Sometimes, a patient’s threat of violence becomes a physical attack. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes workplace violence as a hazard in the healthcare industry and encourages employers to create a violence prevention program to protect their employees.

Caring for Healthcare Workers

Your work-related injuries can make you less effective in helping your patients and put you at risk of further injury if not properly treated. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive workers’ compensation benefits by showing that your injury is related to your work. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthcarefacilities/index.html

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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