According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the rate of workplace injuries and accidents suffered by hospital workers is almost double that of workers in other private industry sectors as a whole. Their injury and illness rates even exceed those of other high-risk sectors, including manufacturing and construction.
Algonquin worker comp lawyers believe that the statistics demonstrate a clear need for improved safety standards for hospitals in order to reduce the incidence of illnesses and injuries in hospital settings.
The Statistics of Hospital Injury and Illness
According to OSHA, hospital workers reported 253,700 workplace injuries and accidents in 2011 alone. This means that 6.8 full-time workers out of every 100 suffered a work-related injury or accident while working in hospitals during the year. Out of the number of workers who were injured or became ill while working in hospitals, 58,860 had to take days off of work, and thousands more had to continue working on modified duty assignments.
Unique Problems For Hospital Workers
Hospital workers face unique issues. They work with mentally ill and physically challenged patients, which increases the risk of exposures to violent outbursts. Hospital workers are also exposed to numerous infectious agents, some of which are airborne and are resistant to antibiotics. Workers in hospitals may also face problems involved with caring for patients who are obese, including having to lift them. All of these factors combine to increase the risk of injuries and illnesses to workers in hospital settings.
Improving Hospital Safety
Hospitals can take measures to reduce their injury and illness rates. OSHA reports that hospitals that implement comprehensive programs aimed at the safe handling of patients have the lowest injury and illness rates. These programs include safety training for all staff, making safety equipment available, following strict safety procedures for the handling of biohazards, and using patient assessment tools. Workers may help to reduce their risks by following safety protocols and protecting both themselves and their patients from possible exposures to pathogens and injury accidents.
Addressing Injuries And Illnesses That Have Occurred
Workers who have been injured or who have been sickened while working in hospitals may file workers' compensation claims. Algonquin workers comp lawyers regularly help their clients gather the evidence they need to support their claims so that they might recover the maximum available benefits.