When you work in a hospital as a health care worker, you know helping the sick and injured can be incredibly rewarding. Unfortunately, the chances of being injured are also high. Hospital workers have some of the highest injury rates of any industry. In fact, health care workers are more likely to be injured on the job than workers in construction and manufacturing, which are two of the most dangerous industries in the country.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common work injuries at hospitals that lead to time missed at work include:
- Sprains and strains
- Soreness and pain
- Puncture wounds and cuts
- Multiple trauma.
These injuries can happen in a variety of ways. Often they’re the result of patient interactions, but they can also happen from slipping or tripping, bumping into things or from handling needles and other medical devices.
Most Common Injury to Health Care Workers from Lifting and Repetitive Tasks
When you work in a hospital, you know how physically demanding it is. It’s no surprise that the wear and tear on bodies can lead to painful injuries. Muscle and ligament sprains and strains are the most common injuries to health care workers in hospitals. Many of these injuries happen during patient care because nurses and other workers are constantly lifting, repositioning, and transferring patients, including very heavy patients, who can’t move by themselves. This strain can cause injuries to the back, shoulders, and other parts of the body. Repetitive motions such as stooping, bending, and other motions also cause strains and sprains. These types of painful injuries can make it impossible to work.
More Causes of Common Injuries to Health Care Workers in Hospitals
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that lost workdays due to injuries from slips, trips, and falls on the same level are 90% higher for hospital workers than for all other industries combined. Water, grease, and other fluids on floors cause bruising, sprains, fractures, and other injuries from slipping and falling. Tripping hazards such as medical tubing, clutter in walkways and workspaces, damaged flooring, and other unexpected or hidden obstacles also commonly cause injuries for busy health care workers. Unfortunately, patient violence against health care workers also leads to serious injuries.
Injuries from Needles and Other Sharp Objects
Hospital workers may suffer pokes, punctures, and cuts from needles, medical devices, and other sharp objects. Accidental needle pokes can also lead to serious illnesses from infectious bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS, for example. Additionally, hospital workers are also at risk for bacterial infections such as MRSA and tuberculosis and viruses including the flu and, most recently, the highly contagious and dangerous COVID-19 coronavirus.
Getting Help When You Have a Hospital Work Injury
If you’re a health care worker who has suffered an illness or injury on the job and can’t work, you might not know what your options are for getting help. Depending on the hospital where you’re employed, you may be able to get workers’ compensation insurance benefits. If you work for a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, you have other possible options for getting compensation for your injuries. If you don’t know what kind of benefits your hospital provides to injured workers, a Texas work injury attorney can investigate and advise you. When you’ve given so much to help others, you shouldn’t be left wondering how you will feed your family and pay the bills.
Workers’ compensation in Texas pays for medical care related to on-the-job injuries. It also pays approximately two-thirds of weekly wages in temporary income benefits. Income benefits don’t begin until you’ve missed work for one week. If your employer carries workers’ comp, you can file a claim through your employer. Getting coverage is not guaranteed, however. If you don’t fill out forms correctly or provide enough information at the right time, your claim may be denied. It can be helpful to get the advice of a work injury attorney when filing your initial claim. And should your initial claim be denied, an attorney can help you navigate the complex appeals process.
Employers in Texas, unlike in those other states, aren’t required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. These employers, which include some hospitals, are called non-subscribers. They may carry their own insurance plans for injured workers. While some non-subscriber employers may opt out of providing workers’ comp in an effort to save money and control the benefits they provide and for how long, they also open themselves up to being sued by injured employees. When a hospital carries official workers’ compensation, they cannot be sued by their employees.
No matter what your situation, when you can’t work you need help fast. The sooner you start the process of filing a workers’ comp or legal claim when you’re seriously injured, the sooner the possibility of getting medical care and compensation for your injuries.
Deadlines for Getting Help for Common Work Injuries at a Hospital
There are various deadlines for filing workers’ compensation or legal claims after workplace injuries. Every case is unique and there are often deadline exceptions. When you’ve been hurt at work or suffered an occupational illness, get the guidance of a work injury attorney in Houston who can advise you about the deadlines in your case and counsel you about the steps to take toward getting medical and financial assistance.
Call an Experienced Houston Work Injury Lawyer for Assistance
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job at a hospital, contact our work injury lawyers today. We can help you file a workers’ comp claim to get medical and wage-replacement benefits. Or if you work for a hospital that doesn’t subscribe to workers’ comp, we’ll counsel you about your options to get damages through a legal claim if the benefits through your employer’s private plan aren’t adequate. When your employer is a non-subscriber to workers’ compensation, you may be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering, in addition to medical and wage benefits.
Contact the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today to schedule a free consultation with a Houston work injury lawyer. We can be reached at (713) 973-8888, or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.