Healthcare workers have some of the toughest jobs around. Not only do they have to put up with the mental and emotional stress of dealing with cranky patients who often try to trick them into providing just a bit more pain medication, but they also have some of the most physically demanding job responsibilities. And they are also supposed to do all this with a smile – without complaint. These daily challenges can take their toll and it is not at all unusual for these workers who provide so much kind care to the ill to fall victim to workplace injury themselves. Whether it is back injuries from lifting a patient, falling on a slippery floor, or any number of other workplace incidents, healthcare workers quite frequently end up needing the same care they spend their days providing to others.
Hospitals Shown to Be One of the Most Hazardous Places to Work
According to a publication by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the injury and illness rate in hospitals is almost twice as high as in private industry overall. Shockingly, the rate is even higher than two of the industries touted as the most hazardous – construction and manufacturing. OSHA notes that this is likely because of the focus on improving safety in the construction and manufacturing industries, whereas the healthcare industry has not experienced the same focus on safety that would help to lower the injury rate.
What Factors Make Health Care Provider Work So Hazardous?
Many of the conditions that healthcare workers face every day are those that are unique to the healthcare industry. First, these types of jobs often require heavy lifting – lifting and repositioning patients with limited mobility, particular larger patients – can cause physical injury even when caution is exercised. Second, the very nature of healthcare work inherently includes exposure to dangerous germs, bacteria, and disease. Third, health care providers routinely work with patients struggling with mental or physical challenges – and these challenges sometimes lead to violent situations.
Safer Patient Handling
One of the most common causes of injuries to healthcare providers involves patient lifting and handling. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has provided some guidance for safer patient handling. They note that rising obesity rates in the US is contributing to the problem along with the aging of the nursing workforce and the nursing shortage that is only expected to worsen. NIOSH states that safer patient handling is possible by using principles of ergonomics – the healthcare providers use mechanical equipment to move patients rather than doing so manually. This helps not only to reduce the risk of injury to the health care provider, but also increases safety and comfort for the patients.
Workers’ Compensation Help For Injured Healthcare Providers
If you have been injured on the job while providing care to others, let the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation legal professionals at Bader Law Firm, LLC help you recover from your injuries. We have experience handling all types of workers’ compensation cases and will help you to understand what you are entitled to receive. Contact us online for your complimentary consultation and get started moving forward towards your own recovery.