Hospital workers, especially nurses, are extremely valuable employees, but due to the nature of their jobs, they may face a higher risk of injury than people who are employed in other industries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hospitals report injuries at a rate almost twice as high as private industry as a whole.
While hospitals are places for people to go for healing and health care, they can be quite dangerous for the people who are providing that care. For many reasons, Minnesota hospital workers face exposure to various personal safety risks, and if you are a hospital employee, you would be wise to know how to protect your rights in case of an accident.
Common causes for accidents and injuries in hospitals
Accidents in hospitals can happen for many reasons, but the five most common reasons are:
- Overexertion caused by bending, lifting, carrying and reaching
- Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents
- Contact with dangerous objects
- Exposure to illnesses
Statistics indicate that various types of sprains and strains account for over 50 percent of days away from work due to hospital incidents. One of the main reasons for this is that doctors, nurses and other hospital workers often have to lift, move or transport patients. Often, dedicated nurses place their own health and safety at risk for the care of their patients.
The necessity of safe patient handling
Since patient handling and overexertion are some of the leading causes of injury among hospital workers, employers bear the responsibility of providing the equipment and training necessary to address these issues and prevent as many incidents as possible. The following may help prevent injuries involving lifting and moving patients:
- Equipment that includes ceiling mounted lifts and slide sheets
- Patient assessments and minimal lift policies
- Training for caregivers and dedicated lifting teams
The implementation of safety policies and adequate training may help reduce the number of accidents and injuries related to lifting patients.
Your rights after a work injury
If you were hurt while you were working in a hospital, you have the right to a full and fair recovery. Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be a complicated process; therefore, you may find it beneficial to secure the help of an experienced attorney as you seek the care and recompense needed to help you move forward after an accident in a hospital.