Common Hospital Worker Injuries
An injury can occur in any field of work, but they are surprisingly common among healthcare workers. Long hours, constant hard labor, and the presence of numerous hazardous objects and substances will often take their toll on nurses, technicians, and other hospital employees. This can easily result in injury. Some of the most common injuries healthcare workers in Chicago and other areas endure are:
- Slips and falls: Equipment might be left lying around, fluids may have spilled, or people may be running about to provide emergency care. These can all lead to slips, trips, and falls in a hospital setting, resulting in injuries that may seem minor at first, but could prove to be serious after some time.
- Needle sticks: Needles are everywhere in hospitals, so naturally, accidentally sticking yourself with a needle is likely to happen sooner or later. The most benign of these instances is when the needle is unused, but often, it could be contaminated with medication or the bodily fluids of a patient.
- Illness: Being around sick people and contaminated equipment can lead to illness. Nurses and caretakers may fall ill as a result of caring for sick patients, and at times, that illness can become quite severe, especially when other factors like overexertion and exhaustion come into play.
- Repetitive stress injuries: A direct result of overexertion is repetitive strain injury. Among hospital workers, this often takes the form of spine and muscle injury from constantly lifting and moving patients. They may not seem severe at first, but they can quickly become debilitating if not treated early.
- Psychological strain: Long hours of working with sick or injured patients takes a heavy toll on the mind as well as the body. A patient or visitor may become agitated or disagreeable, or the strain of long hours without rest can be emotionally and mentally draining.
- Physical trauma: Accidents or violence could occur, posing an immediate threat of injury to workers. These types of injuries may result in scratches, cuts, bruises, broken bones, or head trauma.
Hospital injuries will generally warrant workers’ compensation, which can pay for medical treatment and some lost income from missed time at work. Very seldom will these types of injuries lead to a personal injury case since employees cannot sue their employers under Illinois law.
If an injury resulted from a third party, however, then a personal injury case could be viable. Examples, when this might be recommended, are injuries resulting from violence on the part of a visitor or a dangerous failure of equipment. If these are the result of willful or negligent actions on the part of a third party, such as the visitor or the manufacturer of the equipment, then a personal injury case could get you far more compensation for your injury than workers’ comp alone.
If you work in a hospital and are suffering aches, pains, or simply strain, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. Just because it isn’t the result of a serious accident doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Hart & David provides skilled legal help to hospital workers in the Chicago area, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.