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Common Healthcare Worker Accidents

Common Healthcare Worker Accidents

When we think of dangerous occupations, we don’t often include healthcare in our list. This is an incorrect assumption. Dealing with various medical tools, bodily fluids, and sick people carries a whole host of risks. There are many ways in which a healthcare worker can be injured on the job. Here are some common injuries among workers in the health field.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Nurses and orderlies remain on their feet and in constant motion. They are often found repeating the same actions again and again. Like a taxi driver who remains seated and operating pedals all day, healthcare workers can experience a gradual wearing down of the body due to repeated motions. These jobs can also demand heavy lifting, especially for orderlies who must move patients. Age and repetition begin to gradually damage any worker who consistently performs this kind of manual labor.

Repetitive stress injuries often present themselves in the musculoskeletal system. Bad joints can cause mobility issues and chronic pain.

Needle Pricks

Constantly working with needles, be they syringes or IVs, occasional injuries are almost a certainty. Nurses will commonly stick themselves, causing small puncture wounds. This can happen from simply mishandling the needle, but it can also be the result of sharps that were improperly disposed.

The biggest concern surrounding these injuries is not the puncture itself. Even if it is deep, it won’t be very wide, and it can heal quickly. The major worry is what nurses are exposed to in a needle prick. If this needle came from inside a patient, it could be covered with germs or infectious diseases. Furthermore, needles can penetrate protective examination gloves, leaving skin exposed to the elements and more potential infections.

Violent Attacks

People who go to the hospital are under stress. Stress creates pressure, and pressure can sometimes end in violence. Friends and family members who mistrust a worker may lash out, or maybe they simply can’t handle the bad news they are given.

Patients who are under the influence of heavy drugs can also become violent. People who were not admitted to the hospital for illegal drug use could have a bad reaction to the medicines they are given, causing them to become aggressive.

Healthcare workers who treat the mentally ill must stay on high alert for attacks. The mentally ill should not be stigmatized, but it is important to be pragmatic about conditions that can cause people to lash out.

Slips and Falls

With fluids of every kind spilling, slip and fall cases are common in hospital environments. Hard floors and the presence of other dangerous tools make this a particularly dangerous accident.

In personal injury law, management and staff must be on alert for dangers associated with their jobs. Imagine the difference between a comic book store and a coffee shop. Coffee and drinks are constantly passed around in one environment, so the staff needs to be on the lookout for spills. The managers of the comic book store are also responsible for having clean floors, but they are given more leeway if someone spills something, because it is uncommon. If a hospital allows a spill to remain on the floor for too long, they can be held liable for resulting injuries.

Options for Injured Healthcare Workers

Workers’ Compensation

An injured healthcare worker’s first recourse is workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, workers’ comp is an insurance benefit, and insurance companies try to avoid paying if they can. Initial applications are often denied. This is why you should always have an attorney review your application. They can help make sure you’ve filled everything out correctly, so you are not denied on a technicality. Moreover, they can also help you phrase your report properly. They know how insurance companies think, and they can help you craft legally sound, convincing language that is hard to deny.

If you are denied, you can go to a hearing and appeal the decision. This process operates much like a courtroom. Witnesses may be called, and evidence can be presented. Lawyers from both sides will present their arguments, and a judge will make the final decision.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

When a workers’ comp appeal fails, you may need to contact a lawyer about a personal injury lawsuit. If your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. You may be able to file suit against your workplace or its management, showing the court how their actions (or inactions) led to your injuries.

You may not have been injured by another’s behavior. Sometimes you are hurt by defective medical equipment. If you were using a tool properly, and it injured you, there might be an error in its manufacture or design. A good attorney can investigate products for similar injury claims, and you could have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

If you were injured on the job, we can help. Our clients trust us to help them with workers’ compensation issues. If necessary, we can move the process further to a personal injury suit. You can reach us online, and our office number is (505) 219-2176.


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