Hospitals are a place to go for healing, yet accidents here are quite common. Nurses face a higher risk of injury than any other profession. The injury rate for nurses and health care professionals is more than twice the average rate of all occupations in the private sector. That includes other industries such as construction, manufacturing plants, and coal mining.
In densely populated areas like the Bronx with crowded hospitals, risks are elevated. If you or a loved one has been involved in a workplace injury at a hospital, the lawyers at Shulman & Hill may be able to help. Contact us to schedule a free legal consultation.
What Types of Hazards are in a Hospital?
There are many different hazards that you may come across while working in a hospital, from a slip and fall to severe exposure to infectious agents.
Here are some of the most common causes of injuries that occur in hospitals:
- Sharp, contaminated objects such as needles or surgery implements may be hazardous because they can lead to infection in the case of an accident. This can impact both the soft tissue as well as the immune system.
- Moving and lifting patients is one of the most frequent causes of injury. Not paying attention to ergonomics can lead to pulled, torn, or strained muscles. Not only are these injuries painful, but they sometimes require surgery in order to heal.
- Working back-to-back shifts is common in the medical field. However, it is not good for you and can lead to fatigue and overexertion. This can be quite dangerous for the worker as well as patients under their care, as accidents may be more likely to happen.
- Exposure to bodily fluids, infectious agents, and possible toxins can lead to foreign antibodies being introduced to your immune system. Many of these agents are curable but others, such as HIV, are not.
- Patients sometimes may be aggressive and physically attack medical workers. Violent encounters can result in a number of injuries, depending on the circumstances.
- Being constantly on the move puts hospital staff at risk of slipping and falling on the smooth floors. Quick movements from patient to patient can lead to slip and fall accidents.
How Bronx Hospital Workers May Be Injured
Even though there are multiple ways in which hospital staff can hurt themselves, the leading cause of injury is moving patients. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to move someone. Injuries can happen whether you are pushing a patient in a wheelchair, helping them get in or out of bed, or lifting them onto a gurney. No matter how careful you think you are, these tasks can all be quite hazardous.
Many hospitals do not employ enough mechanical lifting devices to assist their workers in moving patients. These devices cut down on these types of injuries. As such, the physical burden may fall on the worker, who is faced with a higher probability of musculoskeletal injuries. Ways in which you can reduce injury when moving patients include:
- Tightening your abdominal muscles
- Keeping your back straight
- Bending with your legs, not your back
- Limiting the amount you rotate or twist the spine
- Moving your entire body in the direction of the transfer
Are Hospital Worker Injuries Preventable?
Anyone that has had a job in a hospital is aware of how many different ways they can be injured. Unfortunately, you do not know what will happen on any given day, and accidents may still happen regardless of whether or not you follow safety best practices.
Even though there are no guaranteed ways to ensure you are never involved in an accident in the workplace, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of serious injury:
- Follow safe patient handling guidelines
- Fill out accident reports immediately following an accident
- Before moving a patient, wait for help
- Make sure you are following the instructions for all machinery and equipment
- Follow the safety protocols for getting rid of hazardous items like syringes and other contaminants
While these steps will greatly reduce the number of accidents that happen, there is no way to completely eliminate them. If you or a loved one were unfortunate enough to be injured on the job, filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you receive financial help following a workplace accident.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured While Working in a Bronx Hospital?
Regardless of who caused your accident, if you were injured at work you likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Filing a workers’ compensation claim gives you the best chance of being repaid for your missed wages and medical expenses.
Immediately after getting hurt at work, it is important that you report the accident to your boss. They will more than likely have you fill out an accident report. Documenting the incident will make it more difficult to dispute in a Bronx workplace injury claim. Failure to report the accident may impact the success of your claim. You should also see a doctor as soon as possible to have your injuries documented as well.
Why Shulman & Hill?
If you are injured at work, you want to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to. A Bronx workers’ compensation attorney at Shulman & Hill can help you file a claim for benefits. They can also investigate the accident and gather evidence to build a strong case in your favor.
To learn more about how our Bronx law firm can help you, contact Shulman & Hill today for a free legal consultation.