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Healthcare Workers Put Their Own Safety On The Line To Treat Others

Every day, people get hurt while on the job. Approximately 152,000 of these injuries occur in manufacturing, but an astounding 653,000 injuries happen to those in the healthcare industry every year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that nurses are three times as likely to get injured on that job as construction workers.

Getting Hurt While Trying To Help

Healthcare workers are classified as anyone who works in a health center, clinic, nursing facility, or hospital. Nurses, orderlies, doctors, paramedics, and even pharmacists fall under the umbrella of a healthcare worker. As much as healthcare workers do to help others, there are times when they become the ones who need help.

Workplace injuries can cause impairment that can take them away from their jobs for days, even months, at a time. Employers have an obligation to protect their employees from harm, but this doesn’t always happen. When an employer doesn’t fulfill their obligation, healthcare workers can be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional damages they sustain.

Common Injuries To Healthcare Workers

Musculoskeletal injuries – Many people fail to realize the physical toll that is taken on the bodies of people who work in the healthcare industry. Most are on their feet for up to 12 hours a day, and many have to physically lift and transfer patients and other heavy items. OSHA reports that healthcare workers are seven times more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders than other workers.

Back injuries Back injuries are a common issue, as so much time is spent on the feet, as well as the need to twist and shift continually. Even small movements can place a good deal of strain on the back muscles and spine.

Care costs relating to back injuries in healthcare workers total close to $7 billion each year.

Slip and fall injuries The medical environment can be filled with hazards that can cause a slip and fall injury. Spilled liquids, loose tubing, exposed wires, and general clutter can make trips more likely. Though some injuries can be mild, others can be very serious, such as a head injury.

Sharp force trauma Hospitals and healthcare facilities are filled with sharp objects. Healthcare workers use needles on a daily basis and are prone to jabs and puncture wounds. Other sharp objects include scalpels, surgical equipment, and broken glass. All of this can cause serious lacerations or infection.

Infectious disease exposure Needle sticks can expose workers to Hepatitis B or C, HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of blood borne diseases. Dangerous substances such as legal and illegal drugs can be a risk. But by simply being around sick people, healthcare workers can become exposed to airborne pathogens and those that travel through bodily fluids, posing a high risk of illness.

In 2014, Nurse Nina Pham contracted the deadly Ebola virus after treating a man with the same disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. A lawsuit against the hospital was settled two years later for unspecified damages. Pham noted that though she was declared free of the disease, she still suffered health problems likely related to the disease itself and the experimental treatments she received. The lawsuit alleges that the hospital did not protect or train employees properly in dealing with such an infectious disease.

Workplace injuries can occur anywhere. If you need assistance in a worker’s compensation claim of any type, contact our office. From the healthcare field to the factory, we’ll fight to see that you get the damages you deserve.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Healthcare Workers Put Their Own Safety On The Line To Treat Others

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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