While it probably comes as no surprise to health care workers, other people may find it hard to believe that hospitals are considered more dangerous workplaces than construction and manufacturing sites, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). All health care work has risks, but working in a hospital is especially hazardous.
BLS statistics show that hospital staff suffer work illnesses and injuries at double the rate of private sector employees. When it comes to injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, hospital workers again have a higher rate than other industries, including construction and manufacturing.
Nurses, nurses' aides, orderlies and attendants are some of the most commonly injured hospital workers. Overexertion resulting in injuries accounts for over half of their missed workdays. This is most often caused by actions such as:
- Moving and lifting patients
- Bending and reaching
- Slipping or tripping and falling
In addition to these issues, nurses and nurses' aides may suffer injuries from patient or visitor violence and exposure to hazardous materials.
Other hospital employees, from technicians to mechanics, office staff, and maintenance and janitorial workers, also have dangerous jobs. If you are a nurse or any type of hospital employee and you are injured on the job, you have the right to workers' compensation benefits.
Like all workers, however, you will likely need a lawyer's help to get adequate benefits. Hospitals and their insurance carriers may deny your workers' comp claim, devalue your injury or insist that you return to work before you are fully healed. Working with a lawyer will give you an advocate during the workers' comp process.
A workers' compensation attorney can review your case and discuss your options with you. Learn about your rights so you can get the benefits you deserve.