Healthcare workers serve an important role in society: to help the injured and the sick recover back to full health. So it’s easy to forget that these individuals are exactly like everyone else: human, and that makes them also capable of being injured or falling ill due to their work. In fact, the healthcare industry is extremely prone to illness and injury—between 12+ hour shifts, the constant exposure to new illnesses and other toxic chemicals, and the extremely high stress levels, it’s a surprise more workers don’t get hurt every year. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major hazards that healthcare workers face every day.
These are by far the most common type of workplace injury, and can occur either suddenly or develop over time. Overexertion can be everything from pulling or straining a muscle while lifting something heavy to extreme fatigue from multiple days of long shifts leading to little rest. Overexertion can also lead to the development of conditions like arthritis, hernias, and other issues. Perhaps one of the largest unique risks to healthcare workers is the extremely high risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder; nursing aids, attendants, and other orderlies have the highest risk of developing one of these conditions according to OSHA statistics and research.
Healthcare workers are constantly around needles for one reason or another. Whether it’s vaccinating a young child, drawing blood for a laboratory test, or inserting an intravenous needle, any of these instruments could accidentally slip and poke through the healthcare attendant’s skin. This could be an immense problem, particularly if a needle has already been used. Contaminated needles are seen as highly-dangerous medical waste, and must be cared for with the highest amount of precaution. It’s not uncommon for even a minor accident to lead to a serious infection or contraction of a bloodborne disease.
Have you ever noticed a team of security guards at a hospital and wondered why they were there? Believe it or not, hospital workers are actually at an extremely high risk for being assaulted at work. It’s easy for patients or their families to become frustrated and turn violent when they don’t receive good news, and others are assaulted by those who are seeking medications they’ve become addicted to, like painkillers. Hospitals treat everybody, including violent criminals who may have just been injured in an incident with the police. Therefore, it’s actually far more common than you might think for a healthcare worker to sustain a serious injury simply due to someone becoming unexpectedly violent.
Slips & Falls
Fluids are constantly on the move in hospitals, and that means spills can happen nearly anywhere and at any time. When you combine this fact with the smooth, polished flooring that is found at most hospitals (due to its ease of cleaning and disinfecting), you have an environment that’s ripe with slip-and-fall risks. Still other potential fall hazards exist as well. Hospital equipment often requires a connection to an electrical outlet, and that means extension cords could be running along the ground unexpectedly, resulting in a trip and fall hazard. Falls can result in everything from bruising to muscle strains, to broken bones and concussions and much, much more.
If you are a healthcare worker who has been injured while on duty, you should not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a skilled Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney. The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC can provide you with more than 20 years of combined experience to help you obtain the compensation and benefits you need to help you recover and get your life back to normal. We are proud to stand out thanks to our unique approach to each case—one which places your needs and best interests first. We only handle workers’ compensation cases, and that gives us a deep level of familiarity and ability with this area of law that could give you a decisive advantage.Call the Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC today at (770) 741-2825 to set up a free consultation and discuss your legal options now!