If you ask most people to list the most dangerous jobs, most of them do not think of healthcare workers. Yet, people who work at nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare facilities face hazards that place them in danger every day.
According to a recent U.S. Government Accountability study, healthcare facilities are dangerous for workers. If you work in healthcare, it is important to understand the risks. There are legal protections available.
A place for care that is not always safe for workers
Health care facilities employ millions of people. Those people, like all workers, should expect a reasonable level of safety. At hospitals and nursing homes, there are many safety hazards, including:
- Ergonomic (heavy lifting)
- Fire and explosions (oxygen and alcohol use)
- Physical (radiation, noise, falls, slips and trips)
- Psychological (varying shifts, stress and violence)
Violence makes healthcare facilities dangerous for workers
The World Health Organization found that most healthcare employees have experienced physical violence. Others reported that they suffered verbal assaults. Violence often comes from patients and visitors.
Some injuries are preventable
If you are a healthcare worker and you were hurt, you might be able to hold your employer accountable. State and federal laws allow legal action if your injuries or an attack was preventable. Did your company follow best practices and meet industry safety standards and regulations?
Not every injury can is avoidable. Many of them, though, can be prevented with appropriate safety measures and workplace policies. Injuries and illnesses are a problem in healthcare that can require additional protections. If you were hurt and you believe your employer was negligent, there could be legal options.