Common Workplace Hazards Working in Healthcare

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Robert Golan

Healthcare is a booming industry. Especially as the baby boomer generation ages, there is an increased demand for healthcare workers.

Unfortunately, there are also many hazards healthcare workers face. Some of these potential workplace hazards that can cause serious illness and injury to healthcare workers including (but not limited to) long term disability and death.

Healthcare worker that needs a workers comp lawyer Nassau, NY

Biological Hazards

Healthcare workers are exposed to a wide variety of biological hazards. These include blood and body fluids that can contain bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Patients seek out healthcare when they are ill and naturally this places the healthcare team at risk of exposure to those illnesses through contact with infected patients.

Chemical and Drug Exposure

There are many possible ways for healthcare workers to be exposed to drugs and chemical hazards.

Strong chemicals are used to keep healthcare facilities sanitary but these same chemicals can pose risks to healthcare workers including eye injuries and skin injuries from contact. Additionally, these chemicals can be toxic if swallowed or inhaled.

Drugs must be administered to patients and handled by skilled pharmacists but some drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy, can be dangerous to healthcare workers who transport, prepare, and administer them. Also, these lifesaving but dangerous drugs can be present in body fluids and waste that healthcare workers can be exposed to.

Laser Hazards

Lasers are used in a variety of ways in healthcare. Many surgeries use laser technology for increased accuracy and decreased tissue damage. Laser treatments can also be used to shrink or destroy cancerous tumors.

Hazards to healthcare workers associated with lasers include eye injuries, exposure to contaminants from surgical smoke, skin injuries from exposure to the laser beam, and electrical burns.

Violence

Healthcare workers are at risk of violence from patients and family members. Patients who are confused and afraid may become combative. Patients may suffer from mental illness or be under the influence of mind-altering drugs. Loved ones who have lost a family member or who are unhappy with treatment can also become violent.

According to OSHA, the rate of violence in the workplace (citing stats from 2002 to 2013) was more than four times greater in healthcare sectors than in other industries.

Ergonomic Hazards

Healthcare workers face several ergonomic hazards that range from lifting patients to typing at computers. Back injuries and carpal tunnel are just some of the common injuries that occur when workplaces don’t offer adequate ergonomic equipment to their workers.

If You Are Injured on the Job Working in the Healthcare Industry…

Despite the number and scope of precautions taken by healthcare providers, injuries and illness can happen due to circumstances outside of your control. So if you are a healthcare worker who was injured at work, Robert Golan, PC can help. Call him today for a free lawyer consultation at (516) 586-3910 or fill out this online contact form to get more information.

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