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New Jersey hospital making changes after attacks on workers

Workers in the health care industry can be at a higher risk of injury than employees in other occupations. This is not surprising since workers are often exposed to illness on a daily basis, must lift heavy patients, work long hours and may have to deal with combative residents. It is the responsibility of New Jersey hospitals or medical facilities to make sure that there are precautions and policies in place to protect their workers from unnecessary harm.

Bergen Regional Medical Center states that it recently made changes after it was warned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and then cited, over violence within its walls against workers. The hospital, which provides psychiatric care, states that to protect workers from bites or scratches, long sleeves are now required. Additionally, hair must be worn in a bun by staff members if it falls past a specified length and the facility now bolts charts down, which were previously movable.

The changes come in the wake of several assaults that occurred within the hospital. One aide was out of work for 13 days after suffering head injuries from such an event. Additionally, four other employees out of eight attacked in 2014 had to seek medical care for their injuries. The hospital claims that the reports of assaults are over-exaggerated, as most never resulted in criminal charges, and that its injury rate was actually less than state-owned psychiatric hospitals.

A workplace injury can cause a number of challenges for workers. These challenges may include mental, emotional or physical pain and suffering; mounting medical bills; lost wages; and even permanent disability. Therefore, they may find it helpful to discuss their options with an experienced attorney.

Source: NorthJersey.com, “Bergen Regional president defends hospital’s response to alleged assaults,” Mary Jo Layton, June 2, 2016

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