Many people in Illinois live permanently in nursing homes or spend time in rehabilitation facilities while recovering from injuries, surgeries and other traumas. Personal injury lawyers Chicago are familiar with the high level of physical strain on hospital and nursing home workers. This physically demanding job can lead to temporary or permanent disability from work-related injuries.
Nursing home work can be more hazardous than mining or construction
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nursing home work causes a higher rate of injuries than the mining industry and the construction industry. More than 15 percent of nursing home employees report missing at least one day of work each year because of job-related illness or injury. The most common problem in this job is the risk of strain injuries.
Why are hospital and nursing home workers so liable to strain injuries?
Strain injuries are caused when a worker’s body is not able to withstand the overexertion caused by a task. A large amount of nursing home work consists of lifting, holding, transferring and turning residents. The results of improper or hasty lifts are familiar to personal injury lawyers in Chicago, who see the consequences every day among their clients. Some of the most common on-the-job injuries for hospital and nursing home workers include the following:
- Back injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff tears
- Repetitive stress injuries
Any of these injuries may cause a loss of working days or even total disability.
How can health care workers decrease the likelihood of injuries?
Health care work is physically challenging, but it does not have to be harmful to the employee. Many nursing homes and hospitals have begun offering back injury prevention programs and additional training for their workers. According to OSHA, many employers have discovered that proper education can cut the risk of injury by as much as 95 percent. One long-term care facility in Maine saw missed work days decrease from 573 to 25 in just three years after implementing a safety training program.
Rights for nursing home and hospital workers
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1,383,700 long-term residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities in 2012. Nursing home workers have rights that must be respected. By insisting on correct ergonomics and thorough training, employers can help their staff stay healthy. Injured nurses and nurse assistants may find it helpful to discuss their situation with personal injury lawyers in Chicago.