Health care worker injuries are all too common. Health care workers perform essential jobs that are often thankless and challenging. Nurses, orderlies, technologists, doctors, and therapists all share job associated risks that put them at risk for injuries. Their work if physically demanding and can put great stress on the body. Additionally, health care workers interact with patients and equipment that can put them at risk for injury. If you have suffered health care worker injury, Philadelphia trusts the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, to help.
Causes of Healthcare Workplace Injury
The health care industry is ripe with hazards for its workers. There are many ways that a health care worker can suffer an injury, including:
Patient Handling Activities/Overexertion – health care workers interact with patients frequently. Often this involves strenuous movement, such as transferring them from one surface to another. Many of these injuries are caused by overexertion and result in work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Nurse injuries are very costly in terms of chronic pain, disability, absenteeism, and turnover. Sprains and strains of the shoulders and lower back are frequently reported injuries.
Needle Stick Injuries – laboratory workers, nurses, doctors and even housekeepers can suffer a needlestick injury. These injuries can lead to serious or fatal infections with bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Some facilities fail to implement needle safety practices, such as use of safety needles, that can help to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries.
Slips and Falls – Lost work-day injuries from slips, trips and falls are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries at hospitals according to the CDC. These injuries most often result in injuries to the worker’s feet, knees, or ankles. Many slips and falls are caused by environmental hazards that could be prevented with a facility-wide fall prevention program.
Workplace Violence – unfortunately, workplace violence has increased over the past few years and seriously injured many health care workers. According to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, violent events accounted for over 12% of all injuries to registered nurses. This incidence rate was three times greater than for all other occupations.
Understaffing – hospitals and nursing homes that understaff can put workers at greater risk for injury. When a health facility is understaffed, some staff will try to perform tasks alone that would be safer with assistance. For example, an orderly may attempt to transfer a patient into bed by themselves when it would be safer to perform a 2-person transfer. One of the most frequently cited injuries due to understaffing are muscular skeletal injuries of the back.
Repetitive Stress Injuries – with most health care facilities utilizing electronic medical records, repetitive stress injuries can occur to do poor ergonomic set up of offices and computers. In a research study of 179 physicians, the most frequently cited repetitive strain injuries were neck, shoulder, and upper and lower back pain.
Types of Health Care Worker Injuries
Frequently reported workplace injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What Should I do if I was Injured at Work?
Health care worker injuries should be reported immediately to your supervisor. Be sure to document the date, location, and type of injury. Be sure to seek medical attention for your injury. While some injuries are immediately apparent, others can get progressively worse over time.
If you have sustained a health care worker injury, Philadelphia relies on the services of the Wieand Law Firm, LLC to represent employees hurt while at work. Our workers compensation lawyers have experience in advocating for the rights of injured workers throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can help you fully understand your rights and assist you in seeking the maximum possible workers compensation benefits that you are entitled to under law. Contact us today at 215-666-7777 or send us a message to have a free consultation with one of our health care worker injury attorneys.