If you are looking for a safe occupation to enter, becoming a hospital worker may not be top of your list right now. Yet, surprisingly, hospitals have always been dangerous places to work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported back in 2011 that workers were twice as likely to be injured or contract an illness working in a hospital than in private industry. They found hospital workers were even more likely to need time off work due to injury or illness than people working in construction or manufacturing.
Why are hospital workers so at risk?
- Lifting: If you work in a hospital, you may be required to lift patients. Often, these patients are not able to move themselves and may be quite heavy. Generally, these are not straight lifts either, and you may have to lift them from a bed and swing them into a wheelchair. Back injuries are common.
- Dangerous patients: People often end up in the hospital due to injuries suffered from drinking or taking drugs. They may be volatile and violent. Other patients have mental health issues, which could lead to aggressive behavior toward staff.
- Bodily fluids: Hospital workers are more likely than most to come into contact with blood, vomit and other bodily fluids. Needles and sharps are abundant.
- Sick people: Hospitals treat sick people, so it follows that, if you work there, you have more exposure to disease than most industries.
Despite the risks, you may feel called to work in a hospital to help others. If so, Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance is there to cover you if you get injured. An experienced attorney can help you file your claim to ensure it covers all your needs.