A hospital is a medical facility with countless possible sources of injury. The nurse or phlebotomist could poke themselves with a needle used to draw blood from a patient or administer medication. They could have environmental exposure to dangerous chemicals or bodily fluids contaminated with infectious diseases.
Hospital workers face the risk of violence, electrocution and slip-and-fall incidents, among many other dangers, every day on the job. However, the most common source of risk to hospital workers has less to do with sudden dramatic events and more to do with the daily tasks involved in providing patient care.
Overexertion is the leading cause of injury in this field
According to data analyzed by the Bureau for Labor Statistics, overexertion or bodily reaction results in 48% of all lost-time hospital worker injuries. An overexertion injury will usually fall into one of two categories.
The first includes injuries that occur because of a traumatic incident. Perhaps a patient fell, and the situation was urgent enough that you could not wait for a hoyer or a co-worker to lift them. That could result in any number of injuries, especially if you are an older worker or the patient was particularly heavy.
The second category of overexertion injuries includes those that develop slowly over time, like repetitive stress injuries. Constantly turning, lifting or gripping every day for many hours can a pain, reduce your range of motion and decrease your strength.
Workers’ compensation protects injured workers
Hospital workers suffering from overexertion injuries typically have the right to seek workers compensation. In the case of repetitive stress injuries that permanently alter someone’s capabilities, permanent partial disability benefits could help cover some of their financial losses during transition to a less-demanding career path.
Getting those benefits requires applying for workers’ compensation benefits, a complex process that may require the help of an experienced attorney.