Injured healthcare workers have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits
Healthcare has a reputation for being a safe, well-paying industry offering good job security. However, the reality is that being a healthcare worker is more dangerous than most people think.
The healthcare industry reports more nonfatal injury and illness cases to the Bureau of Labor Statistics than any other private industry sector. Nursing assistants have the highest rate of injury of any occupation. This means they are actually injured more often than workers in so-called dangerous industries like manufacturing, warehousing, and trucking.
Types of Healthcare Worker Injuries
Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common type of healthcare worker injuries, due to the large number of orderlies, nursing assistants, and nurses who must lift heavy patients on a daily basis. Even when the lifting is shared by multiple workers, injury can still occur. For example, lifting just one leg of a 300 pound patient equates to lifting about 60 pounds. According to The Ohio State University’s Spine Research Institute, there is simply no safe way to lift a patient manually, since the forces on the healthcare worker’s spine are so large. Back problems and shoulder problems are a common consequence of lifting heavy patients.
Other potential causes of healthcare worker injuries include:
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Biological hazards
- Chemical exposure
- Drug exposure
- Radioactive materials
- X-ray hazards
- Slip and fall accidents
Injured Workers Deserve Compensation
Many of the types of injuries healthcare workers experience are severe enough to make them miss work. In some cases, workers even become permanently disabled. For example, this can happen when nurses, nursing assistants, and orderlies suffer back injuries while lifting patients—though the injury may heal, chances are they will not be cleared to lift enough weight to enable them to return to their former positions.
The good news is, California healthcare employers are required to carry workers’ compensation to help injured workers. If you have been injured on the job or contracted a debilitating illness at work, you can apply for benefits. These benefits will cover all of your related medical costs, including doctor appointments, medical tests, prescriptions, and physical therapy. In addition, you may be able to receive temporary or permanent disability benefits while you are out of work. These benefits will be based on your disability rating.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
The best way to ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is handled correctly is to retain a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to assist you. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have an excellent track record of success in workers’ compensation claims and we can help you get the benefits you need and deserve. Call us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.