Understanding the Causes of Injury Among Nursing Home Workers
The Miami Herald recently reported that a man who worked for a South Miami-Dade assisted living facility was found fatally shot in that facility on a recent Sunday. The worker was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead on the scene. Fortunately, Miami-Dade police said none of the residents were hurt.
However, while tragedies like this one are not the typical kind of occupational risk faced by nursing home workers, unfortunately, there are many. Caring for aging and ill patients is not only hard work but is also often dangerous.
How Common Are Nursing Home Worker Injuries?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing home workers consistently sustain among the highest reported rates of workplace injuries here in the United States. Private industry hospital workers – such as nursing home workers – exhibit a higher incidence of injury and illness than even employees working in other industries traditionally considered dangerous, such as manufacturing and construction. In fact, the rate of injury is a whopping 6.0 cases per 100 full-time workers.
What Are Causes of Injury Among Nursing Home Workers?
Nursing home workers often face hazards related to lifting, moving, or otherwise physically interacting with patients. These injuries typically end up impact a worker’s mobility. Causes of these injuries this can lead to can include:
- Repetitive use. This can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, meaning injuries that affect the muscles, nerves and tendons due to repetitive use. According to data examined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration from 2012, half of the injuries and illnesses reported for nurses and nursing support staff were musculoskeletal disorders.
- Slip and fall accidents. The nursing home environment also increases the risk of spills. From chemicals used for cleaning to spilled beverages to bodily fluids, there are a variety of liquids that can end up on the floor and cause trips, slips, and falls that lead to severe injuries.
- Overworked workers. Many nursing homes are understaffed due to factors such as high turnover. Not surprisingly, facilities with too few people caring for too many residents often experience a high rate of worker injury. When workers are tired, it is easier for mistakes to be made.
- Non-physical risks. Other than the more physical demands of the job, working in a nursing home also includes the potential for exposure to illnesses, chemicals and drugs. Additionally, all nursing home patients aren’t there simply because they’re aging, and workers that regularly deal with mentally ill patients also face the risk of violence from patients.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured?
Being injured on the job can have serious consequences if you are a nursing home worker and it is therefore imperative that you file a workers’ compensation claim so you can receive proper medical treatment and compensation that will help you during your recovery. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, we offer the help you will need with your workers’ compensation claim. Our experienced and compassionate legal team understands the impact a workplace injury can have you and your family and we are here to guide you through the process so that you can get the benefits that you deserve. Begin by contacting us today for a free consultation.