Workplace Dangers For Health Care Industry Employees
Health care is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy today. At the same time, health care workers in Massachusetts and across the nation are experiencing increasing numbers of workplace injuries and illnesses. The types of injuries experienced by Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs), and Home Health Care Aides include back injuries, strain injuries from lifting and pushing, slip and falls, needle stick injuries, exposure to pathogens, latex allergy and stress. While some industries are safer now than a decade ago, the rates of workplace injury to health care workers have risen in the past decade.
If you are a medical worker or health care worker at a hospital or private medical facility who has been injured in the course of your job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Whether you suffer from physical injuries, emotional or mental disabilities or workplace-related diseases, your employer-provided insurance should provide financial support during your recovery. Workers’ compensation benefits include lost wages, medical expenses and vocational rehabilitation costs.
Help For Your Health Care Accident Claim
A knowledgeable workplace injury lawyer at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., one of Massachusetts’ leading workers’ compensation law firms, is ready to help you obtain the benefits you need.
For a free case evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim, please contact us online or call us toll free at (800) 367-0871 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. We have more than almost 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals injured in the course of their employment.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., help injured workers across Massachusetts, including but not limited to Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth and Merrimack River. We also represent Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but who were injured out of state.
Injured Health Care Workers Entitled to Workers Compensation
The nation’s population is aging. Providing skilled, compassionate care to sick and injured patients around-the-clock, seven days a week is physically demanding work. Health care workers must lift patients, shift patients and reposition them, and more and more patients are obese. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, health care workers often experience musculoskeletal injuries and disorders at rates exceeding those for workers in construction and mining. Approximately 80 percent of health care workers are women.
Slips and falls are common health care worker injuries. Water, grease and other spilled fluid can cause a nurse, certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health care aide to slip and lose their balance. Falls frequently cause disabling injuries that can limit a health care worker’s ability to perform his or her job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the incidence of workplace injuries from slips, trips and falls in hospitals is 38.2 per 10,000 employees. That is 90 percent higher than the average rate for all industries. Slips, trips and falls are among the most common workplace injuries in hospitals—second only to overexertion as a cause of injury.
Home health care workers reported more than 27,000 injuries in 2007, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The most common injuries were sprains, strains and musculoskeletal injuries related to lifting and moving patients. Moving a patient without assistance or a mechanical lift is a recipe for a back strain or other injury. A 2008 analysis of 10 years of workplace injury data and workers’ compensation claims from hospital workers showed that health care workers were most likely to injure their knees, ankles and feet from sprains, strains and dislocations.
More than 3,000 health care workers in Massachusetts are exposed to bloodborne pathogens annually from needle sticks and percutaneous injuries caused by sharp devices, such as suture needles, scalpel blades, hypodermic needles and other devices, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Contact with contaminated needles and sharp devices can cause a health care worker to acquire serious and life-threatening diseases. A high proportion of the injuries occur in hospital operating rooms, followed by medical surgical wards and emergency rooms. They involve physicians, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, physician assistants and CNAs. They typically involve suture needles that lack safety features.
Your Right To Workers’ Compensation
If you are a health care worker and have been injured on the job, you have a legal right to workers’ compensation.
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is designed to ensure that employers, including hospitals, home health care agencies, nursing homes and private medical centers, provide insurance to assist employees who become injured, suffer work-related mental or emotional disabilities or develop diseases from on-the-job exposures.
If you have been injured at work, require medical attention and have been unable to earn your full wages for five days or longer, you are entitled to Workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits include medical and hospital services, prescription drugs, compensation for lost income while you cannot work and vocational rehabilitation services.
Obtaining full workers’ compensation benefits is often more challenging than anticipated. A workers’ compensation claims administrator may deny that your injury was caused by a workplace accident. At the hearing to decide your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s claims administrator will have a lawyer arguing on the employer’s behalf to minimize or deny your benefits. You should have your own experienced workers’ compensation attorney standing up for the benefits that you’ve earned from years of work on behalf of the sick and injured.
Contact Our Workplace Injury Lawyers Today
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., are here to assist health care employees trying to recover from workplace injuries and illnesses. We can advise you on the best strategy for maximizing your workers’ compensation benefits after a serious accident or debilitating illness. Remember that if you hire a workers’ compensation attorney because you have been denied benefits, Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation law states that the workers’ compensation insurer will pay the majority of your attorneys’ fees.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to answer workplace injury questions from health care workers in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, including but not limited to Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth and Merrimack River. We also represent Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but who were injured out of state.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are here to help victims of workplace injuries. For a free, no obligation evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim, please complete the online form below. You may also call us toll free at (800)367-0871.