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Workplace Injuries are Common Among Hospital Workers

Jul 18, 2016 - Tuscaloosa, Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

According to the most recent fact sheet published by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), hospitals are among the most dangerous places to work. In fact, the rate of injuries and illnesses that cause hospital workers to lose time from work exceeds even those experienced within the construction industry.

Naturally, hospital workers in Tuscaloosa and throughout the state rely on workers’ compensation coverage to help pay the short- and long-term expenses related to their workplace injuries and illnesses. However, challenges to their claims are not uncommon — and their medical complaints often pertain to third-party liability. It is important to know when to seek support from experienced Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation lawyers.

Hospital Workers Face a Broad Range of Daily Risk Factors

Virtually any type of hospital worker is at greater risk because of factors such as the following:

  • Overexertion: Nearly half of all injuries involve musculoskeletal disorders. Lifting and moving patients and heavy equipment is a major contributor to these injuries.
  • Slips, trips and falls: Hospital environments are volatile. Puddles can appear unexpectedly, and it is difficult to predict what equipment (potentially with dangling cords) will be in a hallway at any given moment.
  • Contact with objects: This can involve anything from heavy equipment to sharp objects, with the resulting injuries often becoming severe.
  • Violence: Patients in a state of confusion and pain can strike out at the people who are trying to help them. Emergency room nurses are particularly susceptible to violent attacks by anyone who walks in the door.
  • Exposure to substances and communicable disease: Hospital workers regularly use a variety of potentially noxious chemical substances. Additionally, in spite of safe practices, exposure to diseases transmitted through the air or an accidental needle stick places them at risk of any number of illnesses.

Hospital Worker Injury Claims Often Involve Complex Circumstances

When hospital workers sustain injuries by slipping on wet floors or cut themselves with scalpels, little doubt generally exists that they have suffered workplace injuries. However, when they injure their backs when lifting patients, questions may arise as to whether the injury was caused by a pre-existing back condition. Similarly, is there any guarantee that hospital workers caught an illness from a patient, rather than from a family member? Issues like these can lead to unfair claim denials.

Just as important, hospital worker injuries and illnesses often result from third-party negligence. A finger trapped in defective equipment or burns sustained from improperly-labeled chemical solvents are just two examples of injuries that may justify injury lawsuits against parties outside of the workplace.

In both types of situations, it makes sense to seek advice from an experienced Alabama workers’ compensation lawyer who can identify whether additional legal action can help victims of workplace injuries to pursue all justified types of compensation.

Additional Resources

Healthcare Safety and Health Topic from the United States Department of Labor

Other Blog topics

Birmingham Construction Injuries and Scaffolding Dangers, Birmingham Workers’ Compensation/Work Injury blog

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