Health care workers face exposure to a number of risks every time they clock in and show up for their shifts. The risk of injury and exposure to various illnesses is an inherent part of choosing a career in this field, yet this risk does not mean that these individuals do not have the right to a workplace that is as safe as possible.
One of the main issues affecting health care worker safety is patient handling. Moving patients from one bed to another, pushing wheelchairs, moving heavy equipment and other tasks place these individuals at a great risk for musculoskeletal injury. If you are a doctor, nurse, nurse assistant or other type of health care worker in Minnesota, you have rights.
Risk factors in the health care industry
Handling and moving patients is a large part of the job in health care, particularly for a nurse. Consider the following facts about the importance of safe patient handling:
- Muscle injuries and skeletal injuries are some of the most common injuries reported in this particular industry.
- Back injuries and damage done to the shoulder are particularly common, much of the time caused by patient handling.
- Lifting and transferring patients is part of the job, yet it can be one of the most dangerous for nurses and other health care workers.
- Repeating certain strenuous tasks over time, such as moving patients, can lead to serious strain-related damage.
- It is possible to limit the risk of this type of accident with training, proper equipment, assistance and more.
Nurses are particularly prone to these types of injuries, but every person who works at a doctor’s office or in a hospital could be at risk. No matter your particular job within the health care industry, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits if you suffered injuries on the job.
How can you seek recovery?
Suffering from a work injury can be both expensive and physically devastating. When health care workers suffer an injury because of their job duties, they have the right to medical care and financial compensation. Through a workers’ compensation claim, you can seek the support you need to get better and return to work.
Knowing what to do or how to protect your rights after a work accident can be daunting. Fortunately, you have the right to seek help as you navigate the complex post-accident process. From completing a claim to dealing with an appeal, you do not have to take a single step alone.