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Hospital workers face hazards on each shift

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Hospital workers treat individuals with various illnesses and injuries. While they’re doing their best to care for their patients, they also have to deal with some very dangerous risks associated with the job.

While they can try to mitigate the danger they face while working, the onus is on the hospital administration to ensure these hard workers have a safe environment. Besides risks like being stuck with sharps, slipping on wet floors or being exposed to infectious diseases, these are some common hazards that hospital workers face.

Exposure to harmful substances

Hospital workers might be exposed to chemotherapy drugs, anesthetic gases or disinfectants while they’re at work. Chronic exposure, even to small amounts, can lead to serious health issues over time, including reproductive problems and increased cancer risk.

Those who operate or work around diagnostic imaging equipment, such as X-rays and CT scanners, risk exposure to ionizing radiation. Chronic radiation exposure, which is possible if the proper safety protocols aren’t followed, can increase the risk of developing cancer later in life.

Musculoskeletal injuries

The physical demands of hospital work frequently lead to musculoskeletal injuries. These are often caused by repetitive tasks, such as lifting and moving patients, which can strain muscles and joints. Back injuries are prevalent among nursing staff due to regular engagement in these physically demanding activities.

Violence from patients and their relatives

Hospital workers, especially those in emergency departments or psychiatric wards, are at an elevated risk of encountering workplace violence. Incidents can range from verbal abuse to physical attacks from patients or their relatives, often exacerbated by the high-stress environment and the urgent nature of medical settings.

Any hospital worker who suffers an injury on the job should seek medical care immediately. Waiting can lead to serious issues, so workers shouldn’t wait until the end of their shift to get care if they know something is amiss.

Workers’ compensation should cover this care and may provide other benefits. Injured workers may consider seeking legal assistance with their case so they can work toward getting the benefits they’re due as efficiently and effectively as possible.