For most workers who get hurt on the job, the hospital is the destination after their injuries. However, for medical workers, the hospital is where they get hurt on the job. In fact, hospital workers are at higher-than-average risk for workplace injuries that require workers’ compensation benefits.
While there are countless possible hazards in a medical environment, almost all of the reported injuries and lost time in incidents in modern hospitals fall into one of four categories.
What are the leading causes of injury to modern hospital workers?
According to data from the Bureau for Labor Statistics, almost half of all lost-time incidents in hospitals involve overexertion or bodily reactions. Injuries from lifting patients and other physical tasks account for 48% of all worker injuries reported in hospitals.
Back injuries, damaged joints and hernias are all examples of this kind of injury. Patient care, working long hours and physically demanding tasks continued into middle age are all risk factors for someone suffering an overexertion injury.
Hospitals may not be where you think about workers falling, but slips, trips and falls cause a surprising 25% of all hospital worker injuries. Workers often have to rush, even if they have already been on the job for more than 10 hours. There is always the possibility of stilled medicine or bodily fluids before that could lead to someone losing traction while rushing from one location to another in the hospital. People could also fall because they trip or while going up and down stairs.
Contact with objects
There are many dangerous items in a hospital, and contact with them causes 13% of reported workplace injuries. A defibrillator can start someone’s heart, but contact with an active defibrillator could stop a working heart.
There are also needles, surgical tools and countless other dangerous implements in a hospital. Accidental contact with any of these items could cause serious injury or lead to illness in the case of accidental needle-stick.
The last major contributor to hospital injuries is violence. You could face violence from a patient because they have a bad interaction with the medication or because they how dementia. About 9% of all reported injuries in a hospital occur because of an act of violence. The remaining 5% of injuries involve exposure to substances and any other possible cause of injury.
Learning the big workplace injury risks in a hospital can help workers avoid injury after they get hurt on the job.