Workers in Healthcare Settings Especially Vulnerable to Workplace Injuries
It might seem counterintuitive, but health care settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient treatment facilities are some of the most dangerous places for workers in the US. Read on to learn more about what the research has shown about injuries to employees in health care settings, and forms and causes of injury which are common in these settings.
How often are hospital workers injured?
The US Department of Labor conducted a study in 2015 looking at the rates of injury among hospital workers. They found that 58,000 injuries deemed work-related were reported by hospital workers in a single year. This means that 6.4 per every 100 workers in hospitals are injured each year. According to the Department of Labor, this is twice as high as the overall rate of injury in the private sector. While the Department of Labor study looked only at hospital workers, other healthcare workers risk suffering many of the same types of injuries as do hospital workers, by virtue of working with patients.
What are common sources of injury in the healthcare sector?
According to the Department of Labor’s study, the most commonly-reported injuries among hospital workers stemmed from overexertion. Healthcare workers tend to work long, physically-demanding shifts, often involving moving patients from room to room or from bed to chair. This sort of patient movement is made even more taxing on healthcare workers by the fact that patients are heavier on average than they once were, due to climbing obesity rates. Additionally, the average age of the American nurse has risen to age 44, making the risk of overexertion even greater. Healthcare workers also stand a high risk of violence; in fact, healthcare workers are nearly four times as likely to be injured through violence than the average private-sector employee.
In response to these risks, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed protocols that can prevent many of these injuries relating to overexertion. It is up to hospitals and other healthcare settings to implement these practices to ensure that their employees are not unnecessarily subjected to injury.
If you’ve been hurt on the job in South Carolina, seek help from an attorney who will diligently and aggressively pursue the compensation you’re owed for your injuries; contact Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney Chad Pye for a consultation, at 864-583-5658.