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Hospitals pose dangers to health care workers

| Nov 5, 2020 | Worker Safety

Workers in health care face more dangers than construction workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health care workers and workers in other higher risk occupations should assure that they pursue their rights to workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job.

Injury rates

Building a hospital is safer than working in one, according to federal government data. Hospital and nursing home workers had greater injury rates than manufacturing, construction, or logging workers in 2017.

Nursing home workers had over 150 injuries per 10,000 workers. Hospital employees had approximately 125 injuries per 10,000 workers.

Strains and sprains accounted for 52 percent of all health care injuries reported to the workers’ compensation insurer, SFM. Many of these injuries take place while workers manually lift and transfer patients.

Nineteen percent of injuries included fractures or contusions and 17 percent involved punctures or lacerations. Twelve percent of injuries were comprised of all other types of injuries.

Health care workers also face a greater risk of workplace violence because health care they interact with many people in stressful job situations. Violent acts included physical assaults as well as threats of assault, verbal abuse, hostility, and harassment.

Groups at risk

A unique working environment poses risks to home health care workers. An aging workforce is also increasing the risk of injury to health care workers.

The average nurse is over 50-years old, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It is 76 percent more likely that a worker’s claim will be a costly lost-time claim when a heath care worker over 40 suffers an injury.

Older workers also face higher risks for serious injuries because of lost muscle strength, among other things. Severe injuries and slower recovery times for older workers have claim costs that are 2.4 times greater than younger workers.

An attorney can assist injured health care workers pursue their rights to compensation and other benefits. They can help assure that they do not lose rights in this potentially complex legal process.

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