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The risks associated with providing care to others

Health care workers are some of the most important and most undervalued employees. Choosing to work as a doctor, nurse or other type of care provider means committing to long hours and high-stress situations, all in order to provide care and healing to others. Workers in these environments, particularly hospital employees, often face higher risks of injury or illness than those in other industries.

Common hazards and risks associated with hospitals

Hospitals can be notoriously dangerous for the individuals who provide care to the injured and ill. Some of the most common risks and hazards faced by care providers include the following:

  • Strains and sprains from lifting, moving and transporting patients
  • Needle sticks
  • Trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents
  • Exposure to dangerous illness and diseases
  • Injuries from violent or combative patients or family members

Injuries and illnesses can mean missed work, extensive recovery time and the inability to return to the same position as before. Hospital workers who become injured or ill have the right to secure workers' compensation benefits, and many of them do. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hospitals suffer losses of approximately $2 billion per year due to workers' compensation expenses.

Why are hospitals more dangerous than other places of employment?

Because they operate in order to provide health care, hospitals may not seem like inherently dangerous places to work. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the risk of injury in one day's work in a hospital is higher than the risk of one day's work in construction and manufacturing.

Much of this risk is associated with the fast-paced and often unpredictable nature of dealing with people, pain management and medicine. It is impossible to know for sure when a high-stress situation will happen, and keeping patients healthy and safe may mean moving, running and providing life-saving intervention at a moment's notice. In their mission to do no harm, many hospital workers often put their own safety and health at risk to care for others.

Fair recovery for injured hospital workers

Despite the fact that hospital workers face the risk of injury and illness every day, they may still find it difficult to secure the benefits and support they need when injured. An injury can be costly, and workplace injury victims have the right to recover lost wages and appropriate medical care. If you are an injured hospital worker, you will find great benefit in securing the help of an attorney as you work to secure your rightful workers' compensation benefits.

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