Even though hospitals are a place of healing and recovery, they remain one of the most dangerous places to work in the country. Each year, workers in the healthcare field report more injuries than industries like coal mining, manufacturing plants and factories, and even construction. Workplace injuries from hospitals alone cost the industry more than $6 billion every year.
With their perception as a safe place where the occurrence of injuries is relatively low, sometimes only those working in the hospital know how many ways you can be injured, and how common injuries can be.
What Hazards are Present in a Hospital?
Working in a hospital or care center, you face potential injuries every day. Possible causes can include:
- Lifting or moving patients can cause strained, pulled, or torn muscles. These can be extremely painful, and in some severe cases may need surgery to assist in healing.
- Exposure to infectious agents, possible toxins, and bodily fluids can lead to foreign agents or bodies being introduced to your system. Some of these agents do not have cures, such as COVID, HSV, and HIV. This can create short-term or long-term health effects.
- Handling sharp and sometimes contaminated objects can result in injury and infection in the event of an accident. This can lead to both soft tissue injuries and the immune system being compromised.
- Medical personnel are often in a hurry and being called to do many tasks at once, this can lead to quick movements on smooth and slippery flooring. This can result in slip and fall accidents, which can lead to devastating injuries.
- Some patients may be unstable and have adverse reactions to medications, and may physically attack medical staff. This can lead to a wide variety of injuries that result from the specific circumstance of the attack.
- Medical staff often work long hours and sometimes even back to back shifts. This can lead to dangerous overexertion and fatigue, which frequently causes situations where lack of focus or alertness can be disastrous.
Primary Cause of Injury
While there are many hazards present in a hospital, one cause of injury is the most common across the board: moving patients. Whether you are helping a patient get in and out of bed, lifting them onto a gurney, or moving them around in a wheelchair, each of these tasks can prove hazardous to even the most careful hospital worker.
One contributing factor to why this is such a big issue is that other industries have safe lifting techniques for moving various types of heavy objects, but none of them transfer over to people. Because there are really no ergonomically correct ways to move patients, hospital workers are often injured during the process.
What You Can Do to Prevent Injuries
As someone that spends a considerable amount of time in hospitals, you are fully aware of just how many ways an employee, patient, or visitor could be injured in the building. There is no way to know what each day is going to bring, so it is important to be careful, diligent, and do what you can to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Since a high number of accidents are caused by some form of negligence, taking time to be cognizant of actions, processes, and procedures can return dividends in safety. While there are no surefire ways to prevent every single accident, there are some steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood that you will be hurt at work:
- Follow all guidelines for safe patient handling;
- Ensuring you follow the directions for all equipment and machinery that you use;
- Following all protocols for properly disposing of hazardous items such as contaminants and syringes;
- Wait for help if you need assistance moving a patient, if possible;
- Promptly fill out accident reports as soon as an accident occurs.
Following these steps is a great way to put forth your best efforts to keep yourself, your coworkers, and your patients as safe as possible. Unfortunately, accidents still happen even when you are acting with care. If you are injured at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to attempt to recover your losses.
What to Do if I Have Been Hurt at Work
If you have been hurt in any capacity while working at a hospital or other similar care facility in or near Brooklyn, you may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim to receive compensation to help cover your damages. You may be able to file a claim to pursue both economic and non-economic damages.
The first thing you should do after getting hurt at work after seeking medical assistance is to immediately report the accident and injury to your employer. They will often need to complete an accident report, which is important since it will establish your accident and injury as a fact. Failing to report your injury to your employer can put your entire claim in jeopardy.
You should contact a workers’ compensation law firm like Shulman & Hill. We will discuss the details of your case and give you legal advice on how to proceed. Depending on your case, you may even consider getting a medical evaluation at a facility other than the one you work at.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
When you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim and you work in the healthcare field, you want to make sure that your rights are protected when it comes to being able to seek compensation for your damages. Your legal team at Shulman & Hill has a history of successful settlements and the legal skills needed to leverage to give your case the best chance at collecting a fair settlement. We will fight hard for your claim and will be a fierce ally and trusted advocate for you every step of the way. If the insurer refuses to settle fairly, your attorney will be by your side for litigation as well, representing you in court. Contact us today to learn more.