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 deceptive perception as a safe place, sometimes only those working in the hospital know how many ways you can be injured and how common injuries can be.
If you are a hospital worker and have recently been injured at work, contact our Brooklyn hospital workplace injury lawyers for a free legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation.
What Hazards Are Present in a Hospital?
If you work in a hospital or care center, you face the risk for potential injuries every day. Here are some possible causes of workplace injuries:
- 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 and HIV. This can create short-term or long-term health effects.
- Handling sharp or 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.
- Moving too quickly: 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.
- Violent or agitated patients: Some patients may physically attack medical staff. This can cause a wide variety of injuries that can be severe.
- Exhaustion: Medical staff often work long hours and sometimes even back-to-back shifts. This can lead to dangerous overexertion and fatigue, which can make workers less alert and cautious.
Moving Patients: A 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 likely 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 your 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:
- Following 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
- Waiting for help if you need assistance moving a patient
- Promptly filling out accident reports as soon as an accident occurs
Following these steps is a great way 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 typically file a workers’ compensation claim to recover your losses.
What to Do if You Have Been Hurt at Work
If you have been hurt in any capacity while working at a hospital or similar care facility in or near Brooklyn, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive compensation for your economic damages.
The first thing you should do 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 the facts surrounding your accident and injury. 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. Shulman & Hill has a history of successfully securing settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. We will fight hard for your claim and will be a fierce ally and trusted advocate for you every step of the way.
Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation to learn more.