Healthcare workers routinely face hazards in the workplace such as exposure to blood borne pathogens, x-ray imaging, respiratory illnesses, and ergonomic injuries caused when assisting patients and performing repetitive tasks. According to OSHA, U.S. healthcare providers experienced over a million injuries and illnesses causing at least 1 day of missed work in 2020, a staggering 249% increase in injury and illness over the previous year.
Common Injuries Among Healthcare Workers
Musculoskeletal and repetitive stress injuries are common among nursing aids, orderlies and attendants who are responsible for lifting and transferring patients. Healthcare workers who work directly with patients commonly suffer from strains and sprains, slipped disks, and other potentially disabling health issues on the job.
Exposure to potentially dangerous blood borne pathogens – Hep C, HIV, and others – occur during routine blood draws or injections aka “needle sticks”. Improperly disposed of needles also pose a hazard on the job.
Violence is a common occupational hazard for healthcare workers who work closely with patients and families who may be combative. Hospitals and clinics are also a target of crime for those seeking drugs.
Slip and fall accidents are common across all industries, but are a particular threat in a health care setting where floors must be sanitized regularly and may be slippery as a result. Wet, soapy floors, rotating equipment, spills, and congestion caused by a never ending stream of patient traffic, are all potential hazards that can lead to a slips, trips and falls on-the-job.
Respiratory illnesses including Covid 19 pose a risk to healthcare workers resulting in missed days from work.
Workers’ Compensation for Injured or Sick Healthcare Workers
Employees that work in healthcare settings are very vulnerable to workplace injuries, the treatment for which, can be costly and may result in missed days, weeks or months from work. If you are hurt on the job you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover what may be significant medical expenses and lost wages when you cannot work. If you are injured, it is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will seek maximum compensation. Contact the Davenport, Iowa workers’ compensation lawyers of McDonald Woodward & Carlson for immediate assistance today.