Hospitals in Alabama, and throughout the U.S., are staffed by a variety of workers, including doctors, nurses, technicians, administrative employees, cooks and facilities management staff. Many would assume that, being in health care facilities, these employees work in one of the safest workplaces. However, work accidents and incidents can, and do, result in a range of injuries for hospital staff. In 2013, 6.4 hospital employees for every 100 full-time workers suffered injuries in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Due, in large part, to the nature of the work and their working environments, Alabama hospital workers are exposed to various workplace hazards. Some of the most common injury risks include the following:
- Exposure to infections, contagions, chemicals or radiation
- Contact with work-related objects and equipment
- Being assaulted by distressed family members or combative patients
- Slips, trips and falls
- Bodily reaction and overexertion
Often, those in direct contact with patients may be required to lift, push reposition and transfer patients. In some cases, these patients may be unable to move or support themselves. As such, it is common for hospital employees to feel obligated to put their patients’ needs and safety above their own.
The hazards hospital workers face can result in a range of injuries. Sprains, strains and other injuries resulting from overexertion and bodily reactions are common for hospital staff. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, motions that are commonly related to patient handling account for close to half of all work-related injuries for hospital employees. Workers in hospitals also frequently suffer cuts, punctures, broken bones or fractures, and other traumas. They may also develop certain occupational diseases as a result of coming into contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients, and other contagions.
Depending on the injury and circumstances, many hospital employees who are injured in the workplace may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. For some, however, receiving these benefits may be complicated. Those who have experienced this type of situation may find it beneficial to consult with a legal professional. An attorney may help them to understand their rights and ensure they receive the compensation and benefits they are entitled to.