New York hospital workers and the dangers they face in the workplace

Hospital staff in New York face a number of hazards in the workplace, which could result in them suffering occupational injuries or illnesses.

Hospitals throughout New York are operated and staffed by many types of workers, including doctors, nurses, technicians, administrative employees and janitors. Many people assume that working in health care facilities, these employees work in one of the safest workplaces. This is not necessarily true, however. In fact, the injury rate for hospital workers is nearly two times the rate for the entire private industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Common workplace dangers

In large part, the increased risk for hospital staff of suffering work-related injuries or illnesses is due to the nature of their work, and the workplaces themselves. While performing their regular job duties, hospital employees may be exposed to numerous hazards. Some of the most common dangers include the following:

  • Being exposed to chemicals, contagions, infections or radiation
  • Getting injured due to a fall, slip or trip
  • Being assaulted by an upset family member or combative patient
  • Bumping into or getting struck by work-related objects or equipment

Additionally, some hospital workers may be required to reposition, lift, transfer and push patients. In some cases, these patients may be unable to move on their own or help support themselves. A report by NPR points out that the methods many hospitals teach their workers for moving patients are dangerous, and could result in serious injuries. Furthermore, it is common for hospital staff to feel a sense of responsibility to put their patients' needs and safety ahead of their own.

Injuries hospital workers commonly sustain

As a result of the dangers they face in the workplace, hospital staff may suffer a range of injuries, which may entitle them to workers' compensation benefits. Bruises, bumps, cuts, punctures and scrapes are common on-the-job injuries for hospital workers. Additionally, employees in this industry may also suffer muscle sprains or strains, broken bones and brain injuries. Sometimes, staff may come into contact with sick patients' bodily fluids or get stuck with needles. This could result in them contracting an illness, infection or disease.

Working with an attorney

Like all workers, hospital employees in New York who are injured on the job often require medical treatment and care. Many workers who experience situations such as this are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. For some, however, the process of obtaining these benefits may make an already challenging situation more difficult. Therefore, hospital workers who have suffered injuries on-the-job may find it of benefit to consult with a legal representative. An attorney may explain their rights and options, as well as guide them through the claims process.