Each year, tens of thousands of workers’ compensation claims will be filed throughout the United States. Of that number, approximately 45% will involve health care worker injuries. Some of the most common incidents include back injuries, infections, violence, and needle injuries.
Workers’ comp specialists like Joseph Kritzer, Attorney at Law, continually see an influx of medical-related claims being recorded—but why? What is it about the health care industry that causes such a high rate of workplace injuries?
Unfortunately, poorly-regulated occupational health hazards seem to be the culprit.
It’s crucial to understand how these workplace hazards are affecting employees throughout the country. While several different types of incidents occur nationally, the most common can be broken down into three categories: physical injuries, ergonomic injuries, and biological injuries.
Physical Health Care Worker Injuries
Loud noises, radiation exposures, and slips or falls—these are just three of the physical workplace hazards affecting healthcare employees day-after-day.
Ionizing And Nonionizing Radiation Exposure
Repeated exposure to radiation technology, often found in various medical imaging equipment, can result in dermatologic injuries, including burns. It can also yield long-term difficulties with illnesses like cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Constant exposure to excessive noise inside of healthcare facilities has been shown to cause problems with hearing and nervous systems. It can also result in work-related stress, anxiety, or depression.
Slips, Trips, And Falls
In hospital settings, especially, the workplace can quickly become chaotic and unsafe for its employees. Whether there are spilled liquids or haphazardly placed equipment, slips, trips, and falls, make up a large number of health care worker injuries.
Ergonomic Health Care Worker Injuries
Medical professionals, like nurses and orderlies, are on their feet for long periods. Coupled with lengthy shifts and overnight work, it’s no surprise that ergonomic-related back injuries are one of the most common workers’ comp complaints within the healthcare industry.
Inside the medical field, there is significant concern over the number of musculoskeletal disorders that are developed due to physically demanding aspects of health care jobs.
Nurses, for instance, spend the majority of their days performing patient-related tasks that involve lifting, pulling, and transferring men and women of all different shapes and sizes. By the time an employee has reached the ages of 50-65, they often begin to see the adverse effects these actions have on their physical well-being.
Biological Health Care Worker Injuries
While not as common as physical or ergonomic injuries, biological incidents can occur within the medical field. Needle injuries and exposure to contagious diseases have proven to be a serious concern for related professionals time-and-time again.
Some of the diseases most commonly transmitted during medical workplace incidents include:
Taking The Proper Steps After A Healthcare-Related Workplace Injury
As a healthcare professional, you will undoubtedly be exposed to dangerous occupational health hazards continually. While there are certain steps you can take, such as being mindful and cautious, there’s a chance you could find yourself in a workers’ comp-related circumstance at one point or another.
In the unfortunate event that something does occur, it’s in your best interest to take the necessary steps to file a claim with an experienced workers’ comp specialist like Joseph Kritzer, Attorney at Law.
While working as a medical professional, you should be protected by certain quality standards. If those requirements aren’t met, and you suffer damaging health care worker injuries, protecting your well-being should be at the top of your to-do list.