It is common knowledge that many careers could lead to injury or death. For example, soldiers, firefighters, and police officers know they are risking their lives every day that they report for duty. Unfortunately, other professions tend to hold a surprising risk of a workplace injury such as the medical field, specifically, nurses, orderlies and nursing aides. Nurses in Illinois and across the nation can likely attest to the dangers they encounter every day.
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people in these professions are more likely to experience a musculoskeletal injury than any other profession. One nurse, for example, describes the risks of lifting a 400 pound patient in order to change a dressing in testimony before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In fact same statistics show that the healthcare industry is one of the most dangerous professions in the country. For example, the healthcare industry reported over 600,000 incidences of work-related injuries.
Despite having the highest number of reported cases of illness or injury, OSHA conducted significantly fewer inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities in comparison to other industrial sites. For example, construction sites were inspected at a rate 20 times higher than medical facilities. In light of these numbers, the American Nurses Association has lobbied for years for the federal government to adopt federal standards to preserve the health and physical well-being of healthcare professionals but have yet to be successful.
Many people do not realize the debilitating impact of a musculoskeletal injury. For example, a back injury could result in surgery, rehabilitation, missed work and a need for a reduced work load. Fortunately, medical professionals in Illinois who have suffered a workplace injury are likely covered by workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help an employee cope with a job related injury by providing monetary compensation for medical bills and lost wages. However, some workers have found it helpful to have additional assistance to ensure fair and efficient compensation.
Source: fiercehealthcare.com, Nursing staff frequently injured on job, Zack Budryk, Sept. 27, 2013