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4 of the biggest safety risks for hospital workers

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Working in a hospital is a very stable form of employment. People will always require medical support when dealing with injuries, overcoming illnesses and having babies. Most people get into medical work because they like to have a positive impact on other people. They may also view medicine as a relatively low-risk profession.

However, workplace safety statistics paint a very different picture. Those who work in hospital settings are at higher risk than professionals in almost any other private sector industry for an on-the-job injury. While medical work may not be the deadliest profession, it is one of the career paths with the highest likelihood of an injury on the job. The following are four of the most significant reasons why hospital work is so dangerous.

Pushing one’s body too far

The number one cause of hospital worker injuries is overexertion and the resulting bodily reaction it produces. Some hospital workers will throw out their backs or damage a joint when lifting a heavy patient. Others may develop repetitive stress injuries from frequently engaging in the same job responsibilities. Roughly 48% of lost-time incidents relate to overexertion.

Slips, trips and falls

Hospital workers often need to rush from one location to another. They could very easily lose traction on the floor, especially if they counter spill of some sort. Workers can break bones or develop traumatic brain injuries because of a slip or fall on the job. Such scenarios account for 25% of lost time incidents at hospitals.

Accidental contact with objects

There are many high-risk items in a hospital setting. Nurses may handle syringes and other sharp items that could cause lacerations and expose them to pathogens. Even artificial external defibrillators could injure a person through accidental contact. Coming into contact with an item is responsible for another 13% of reported hospital worker injuries, while substance exposure causes another 4%.

Patient violence

The final entry on the list of top job hazards is physical violence from patients. Those seeking medical care could become aggressive for many different reasons. Perhaps they are currently in state custody and afraid of incarceration or returning to prison. Maybe they have an adverse reaction to medication, or perhaps they struggle with cognitive decline caused by advanced age. Aggressive and combative patients can cause serious injury to healthcare professionals and are responsible for another 9% of worker injuries.

Medical workers who must take a leave of absence because of health issues caused by their work may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Applying for workers’ compensation can cover the treatment costs for hospital workers and possibly provide them with disability benefits until they can return to work.