Healthcare Workers Susceptible to Serious Injuries on the Job
In an environment like a hospital, where workers are exposed to victims of preventable injuries every day as a part of their job, one might assume that management would take great pains to ensure that workers adhered to safety guidelines that would protect their health and well-being. Unfortunately, research shows this not to be the case. In fact, healthcare workers are some of the most vulnerable to on-the-job injury of any private-sector profession.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) looked at and compared the rates of workplace injury for various professions within private industry for the year 2013. It found that there were 58,000 reports of workplace injury among hospital workers that year, amounting to a rate of 6.4 injuries per every 100 employees. This rate is nearly double what the rate of injury is as averaged across all private sector jobs. Nearly half of these injuries were caused by or stemmed from workers overexerting themselves on the job, resulting in such issues as serious back injuries from attempting to lift or move a patient, or other musculoskeletal disorders.
Another serious issue threatening the well-being of healthcare workers is the problem of workplace violence. In 2013, among the reported 23,000 significant injuries suffered by employees as a result of an on-the-job assault, over 70% of those assaults were committed in healthcare and social service settings. This makes the rate of injury resulting from workplace violence four times higher for healthcare and social service workers than that of any other private profession.
While some accidents in fields such as construction or coal mining may not be predictable or preventable, the vast majority of injuries to healthcare workers could have been prevented, had appropriate guidelines been implemented by management. OSHA publishes guidelines on both avoiding overexertion injuries with good patient handling practices, as well as guidelines on reducing violence against employees. Responsible members of management in healthcare settings must act to protect their workers from avoidable strain and assault injuries.
If you’ve been hurt at work in healthcare, such as in a nursing home, hospital, or assisted living facility, seek the compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting the skilled Georgetown Workers’ Compensation attorney Jeremy Mattox for a consultation, at 502-867-6766.