If you work in a hospital, you’re no doubt dedicated to the health and safety of others, but it’s important to remember that hospitals can also be dangerous places for hospital employees. When the tables are turned, it can be an extremely difficult experience. After all, you go to work to help others and if – instead – you suffer an injury, it can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. If you’ve suffered an injury in your hospital job, seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.
A 2015 report by National Public Radio found that many administrators in hospitals fail to recognize or to admit that nurses are vulnerable to injuries throughout their workdays. In fact, the article’s title, “Hospital to Nurses: Your Injuries Are Not Our Problem,” tells its own story. NPR found that implementing safety equipment and training staff helped mitigate the danger of work-related hospital injuries, but these mechanisms were routinely forgone in favor of cutting costs.
Workers’ compensation law dictates that employees who experience work-related injuries be compensated for their medical expenses and lost wages, but the NPR study found that many injured nurses are denied this essential coverage. Further, many such employees are terminated by their hospital employers because they’re deemed unable to continue to perform required tasks after they’ve been injured. In other words, hospital employees who are injured can find themselves in a catch-22 situation.
If you’re a hospital employee who’s been injured on the job, you need an experienced workers’ comp attorney. Hospitals have been deemed especially prone to denying workers compensation claims. Your work is important to you, and if you’re injured on the job, you have a lot to lose. The dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers at Dolman Law Group are here to help. Our experienced legal team has the skill, commitment, and compassion to aggressively advocate for your claim’s just resolution.
The Nature of Hospital Work
If you work as a nurse or another kind of hospital employee, you likely engage in a good deal of heavy and repetitive lifting – it’s the nature of the work. And with such work, comes increased risk of on-the-job injuries. Caring for patients often forces hospital employees to contort themselves into awkward positions that can exact excessive pressure and stress on your neck, back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. When you engage in such activities repeatedly throughout the day, it makes you that much more vulnerable to work-related injuries.
Hospital Employee Injuries: The Stats
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares several significant statistics related to healthcare workers and workplace injuries:
- Over 18 million workers are employed by the healthcare industry, and it represents the fastest-growing component of the United States economy.
- Almost 80 percent of the U.S. healthcare workforce is women.
- Healthcare workers are susceptible to a full array of dangers on the job. These can include injuries from needles and other sharp objects, dangerous exposure to toxic chemicals and drugs, back injuries, latex allergies, patient violence, infections from contagious patients, and extremely stressful working conditions.
- Nonfatal on-the-job injuries and illnesses in the healthcare field are among the highest of any sector of employment.
Further complications of working in the hospital setting include shift work and long hours, which can lead to sleep disturbances and dangerous exhaustion.
Protecting Hospital Staff
In 2009, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined via field study that implementing mechanical lifting devices, training in the appropriate use of this safety equipment, adopting comprehensive safe-lifting practices, and establishing standard medical-management programs all helped to greatly reduce the injury rate of hospital employees. This also helped to decrease the exorbitant attendant costs. In fact, these additions dramatically improved the injury rate incurred from moving and lifting patients, greatly decreased the cost of workers’ compensation claims, and significantly reduced the amount of time employees lost on the job due to injuries.
The statistics elicited are extremely positive:
- Workers’ compensation claims went down by 61 percent.
- Recordable OSHA injury rates went down by 46 percent.
- Employee first reports of on-the-job injuries went down by 35 percent.
- The costs associated with the safety improvements were recouped in less than three years.
- Further, in the three years following the implementation of these safety mechanisms, great safety strides were achieved:
- Patient-transfer injuries were down by 62 percent.
- Days lost from work were down by 86 percent.
- Workers’ compensation expenses were down by 84 percent.
- Restricted work requirements were down by 64 percent.
These statistical improvements are remarkable, and they serve to highlight the extent to which hospital employees are susceptible to on-the-job injuries – and the extent to which the hospital employers themselves may be ignoring or negating the issue. If you’re a hospital employee, your work is all about helping the sick and vulnerable, and it’s often challenging to come to terms with the knowledge that your own health and well-being aren’t adequately safeguarded on the job.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re a hospital employee who’s been injured on the job, you have plenty to manage. For this reason, you may be tempted to simply allow workers’ compensation insurance to do what it’s presumably set in place to do – adequately compensate you for your losses. This approach, however, is not in your best interest. Your health, your job, and your claim are far too important to leave to the vagaries of the workers’ compensation insurance company, which – truth be told – is in the business of turning a profit and not in the business of making your just compensation its top priority.
If You’re a Hospital Worker Who’s Been Injured on the Job, Dolman Law Group Is Here to Help
Those who are employed by hospitals are especially prone to on-the-job injuries, and if you’re a nurse, orderly, or any other kind of hospital employee who’s been injured on the job, you know how difficult the experience can be. Don’t leave your claim to chance. At Dolman Law Group we have the experience, dedication, and skill to aggressively advocate for your just compensation in the New Port Richey area. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 727-853-6275 today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652