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Common Causes of Injuries to Health Care Workers

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on October 14, 2020

Health care is a difficult, strenuous, and often dangerous industry for workers. Long hours on the job, exposure to biohazards and viruses, and repetitive movements could all lead to health care worker injuries or illnesses. If you or someone you know is a health care worker in Tampa, find out how to recover compensation after being injured on the job.

Types of Injuries Health Care Workers Face

It is not uncommon for nurses, doctors, physicians assistants, and other health care workers in Florida to suffer personal injuries and illnesses during occupational tasks. Health care workers face threats to their health and safety daily. These threats include repetitive motions, repetitive stress, overexertion, fatigue and exhaustion, patient handling, needle sticks, slip and fall accidents, violent patients, and viruses or infectious diseases. Hazards in a health care setting can result in many different injuries to workers.

  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Back injuries
  • Slipped or herniated disks
  • Fall injuries
  • Concussions or head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Infections or diseases
  • Lacerations
  • Puncture wounds

You could face the risk of a serious personal injury or illness as a registered nurse or health care worker in Tampa. Every day, you put yourself in harm’s way due to unpredictable patients and dangerous premises. An injury sustained at work could injure you for weeks, months or even for life depending on its severity. As a professional in the health care industry, it is important to recognize your rights if something at work does give you a serious injury or illness.

Average Rate of On-the-Job Injuries for Nurses

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses are one of the most common victims of accidents and injuries in the health care industry. While registered nurses are critical to the health care system, they deal with a wide range of serious health and safety risks. In 2016, (the latest year data is available) workplace accidents resulted in 19,790 nonfatal personal injuries and illnesses to registered nurses that required one or more days off of work.

Injuries to registered nurses are most common in hospitals, followed by ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities. Female registered nurses accounted for the vast majority of work-related injuries and illnesses (91.2%). This corresponds to the percentage of female nurses in the US, which was about 90% in 2016.

What To Do If You’re Injured On the Job

It is your employer’s duty to maintain a reasonably safe workplace. If your employer is partially to blame for your recent injury, the health care center may owe you compensation to make up for your injury-related bills. You must take certain steps, however, to hold the right party accountable for your damages in Tampa.

  1. First, you must report your accident and injury to a supervisor right away. Failing to report your accident could hurt your chances of receiving compensation, especially through the workers’ compensation system in Florida.
  2. Next, seek care for your work-related injury or illness. You may go to a doctor within the hospital where you work or seek help from an outside provider. Either way, record your experience by collecting copies of all medical records and related documents.
  3. Document your injury. It may be wise to also begin documenting your experience in an injury journal. Write down how you feel, how much pain you are experiencing, and other issues related to your injury or illness.

By this time, your employer should have submitted your claim to its workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurer should contact you with more information about how to proceed with a claim. Before you accept a settlement, consult with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa for advice you can trust about the value of your case. As an injured health care worker, the law may entitle you to greater compensation than an insurance company is offering. A lawyer can help you achieve maximum financial recovery.