Throughout Missouri, a variety of workers, including physicians and nurses, technicians, cooks, janitors and administrative staff, aid in treating patients and keeping hospitals operating smoothly. As health care facilities, many would assume that hospitals would be among the safest workplaces. However, that is not necessarily true. Work accidents and other incidents can result in a range of injuries and illnesses for hospital workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the incidence rate for hospital worker injuries was 6.4 for every 100 full-time employees in 2013.
Hospital employees in Missouri are exposed to a variety of different hazards in the workplace. Some of the most common risks that the hospital staffs may face include the following:
- Sustaining injury as a result of falling, slipping or tripping
- Being exposed to chemicals, contagions, infections or radiation
- Getting assaulted by combative patients or distressed family members
- Bumping into or being struck by work-related equipment or objects
In large part, the increased dangers of occupational injuries and illnesses for hospital workers are due to the nature of the work, and the jobsites themselves. Those who work directly with patients may be required to reposition, lift, transfer and push patients who, in some cases, may be unable to move on their own. Furthermore, hospital employees may feel a responsibility to put the safety and needs of their patients above their own personal safety.
Due to the range of workplace hazards that hospital workers face, they may incur a variety of work-related injuries and illnesses. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, sprains and strains are among the most common work-related injuries for hospital staff. These can result from repetitive stress, bodily reaction and overexertion. Hospital employees also regularly suffer bruises, punctures, cuts and broken bones, among other injuries. Additionally, coming into contact with contagions, such as the bodily fluids of a sick patient, can result in the development of certain occupational diseases.
Depending on the types and severity of their injuries, hospital employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Injured hospital workers may find it of benefit to seek legal counsel and representation. An attorney may help them to ensure they receive the benefits and compensation they deserve.