Hospital workers devote their careers to the well-being and healing of others, and yet, they often suffer a high rate of on-the-job injuries. These injuries can lead to missed time off work as well as long-term disabilities.
The reason that hospital workers often face a wide variety of occupational injuries is due to the physical nature of their work, where they must frequently lift and move patients as well as perform repetitive physical tasks. Over time, these tasks can take a toll and cause injury.
Most frequent hospital worker injuries
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report on projections for job growth in various sectors through the year 2024 showed that healthcare is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. That being the case, hospital worker injuries are likely to increase over the same period of time.
The most frequent injuries that healthcare workers experience tend to be strains and sprains, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said account for over half (54%) of the total number of injuries in this industry. OSHA reported that the most frequent type of injury is “overexertion or bodily reaction.” Sprains and strains are followed by bruises, soreness, fractures, multiple trauma, and cuts and fractures.
How hospital workers handle their injuries
Regardless of the type of injury, if it occurs on the job, the hospital worker needs to report it to his or her supervisor. States require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ injuries sustained on the job. Filing a claim can be a complicated process, however. Sometimes, insurers are not willing to fully compensate an injured healthcare worker, and in some cases, insurers make it impossible to get the necessary treatment.
When these obstacles occur, the healthcare worker may need to turn to additional assistance in the form of a workers’ compensation attorney. While not all workers’ compensation claims will encounter resistance or a denied or underpaid claim, it does happen often enough. There are strict timelines in place regarding workers’ compensation claims, however, so healthcare workers need to promptly inform their employers when an injury occurs to start the claims process.