One might think that American hospitals would be among the safest work sites in the country. Indeed, with all of those healthcare professionals milling around all day, one would expect safety to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Perhaps it is, but statistics don’t fib. According to information recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), almost 58,000 work-related injuries occurred in 2013, the last year for which such data is complete. That amounts to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees, a rate that is twice as high as the overall rate for private industry.
Overexertion appears to be one of the primary issues. Statistics indicate that almost half of all work-related injuries in the healthcare industry were linked to overexertion. Particularly alarming, healthcare workers are almost four times more likely to sustain injury as a result of violence than the average employee in the private sector.
People in New York, and elsewhere, depend on their medical providers to look out for their health and well-being. Unfortunately, however, medical errors commonly happen, putting patients at risk. In fact, U.S. News & World Report LP, reports that over 200,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical mistakes. However, there are some things that patients can do to help protect themselves.
One of the most common types of errors that result in patient injuries are medication-related mistakes. In order to prevent these types of errors, it may be helpful for patients to ensure that all of their doctors know about all of the medications that they are taking. Furthermore, they should ensure that their health care providers know about any adverse reactions or allergies that they have had to medications. People should not be afraid to ask questions to ensure they know what they are taking, for how long they will be on it and what the potential side effects are.
For a hospital employee, one of the main causes of injuries is moving patients. For example, on a daily basis, you have to lift patients from gurneys, help them in and out of beds, and move them from room to room in wheelchairs. One of the reasons for this problem is that the same safe-lifting techniques used in other industries, such as lifting heavy objects, are not adequate to help hospital workers safely pick up and move people.
Evidence-based research has shown that safe patient handling interventions can significantly reduce overexertion injuries by replacing manual patient handling with safer methods. Mechanical equipment is now available that can lift and move patients, so that healthcare workers can avoid using manual exertions.
This results in fewer injuries. It also results in maximizing the safety and comfort of patients during handling. On a daily basis, the men and women who work within the health care industry must perform a variety of physical tasks that put them at risk of suffering injury. For many, tasks involved with assisting, moving and lifting patients takes a tremendous physical toll at puts healthcare workers like nurses at an increased risk of suffering injuries to the neck, back and extremities.
At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.
HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights