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Healthcare and Social Services Are Among the Most Dangerous Professions in the United States

Workers' Compensation

When most people think of dangerous jobs, they imagine jobs like mining, working in construction or driving a commercial truck. But, according to a recent Forbes article, some of the United States’ most dangerous professions are in the healthcare and social services sector.

According to the article, “In the healthcare and social services sector, violence against workers is a growing problem across the nation causing severe injuries and often resulting in death.” As a result, the article states, “healthcare [is] one of the most dangerous professions in which to work.”

The article goes on to state that 69 percent of physical assaults and 71 percent of non-physical assaults in the workplace occur in the healthcare and social services sector. The author suggests that “minimal staffing and little to no protection” are among the primary reasons why healthcare and social service professionals face such significant risks on a daily basis.

OSHA: Hospitals are “Hazardous Workplaces” for Healthcare and Social Services Professionals

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) echoes these concerns. According to OSHA, “Hospitals are hazardous workplaces and face unique challenges that contribute to the risk of injury and illness.” OSHA also reports that:

  • “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the likelihood of injury or illness resulting in days away from work is higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing—two industries that are traditionally thought to be relatively hazardous.”
  • “On average, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees . . . . That is almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole.”
  • Along with the risk of violence, lifting and repositioning patients, needlesticks, and various other job-related hazards contribute to the high rate of on-the-job injuries in the healthcare and social services sector.

As OSHA also notes, another critical factor contributing to the high rate of workplace injuries in hospitals and other facilities is the fact that many professionals “will put their own safety and health at risk to help a patient.” Combined, the risks healthcare and social services professionals face result in a “higher than average risk at 3.1% and 3.4% respectively,” which has been the case “over the last number of years,” according to WorkSmart.

Despite the wide variety of risks healthcare and social services professionals face, violence remains a key concern. As quoted in the article linked above, OSHA reports that “over 75% of the 25,000 workplace assaults reported annually in the United States [take] place in hospitals and other healthcare and social services settings.”

Understanding Your Legal Rights As an Injured Healthcare or Social Services Professional in Ohio

If you work in healthcare or social services in Ohio and you have been injured on the job, it is important that you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. For example, in many cases, healthcare and social services professionals will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they get injured on the job.

Workers’ compensation covers all job-related injuries regardless of the cause—with only limited exceptions for things like self-inflicted harm and intoxication. Employees do not have to prove that their employers are responsible, and they can file claims even if they got hurt while going above and beyond to try to protect a patient. In the healthcare and social services sector, some of the most common types of workers’ compensation claims are those involving:

  • Violence (including violence perpetrated by patients and family members)
  • Slips, trips and falls in hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Treatment-related injuries such as needlesticks and back injuries suffered while repositioning patients
  • Lifting, bending and twisting injuries
  • Injuries caused by repetitive stress or repetitive strain
  • Exposure to diseases and other health hazards in the workplace

For healthcare and social services professionals who work as contractors in hospitals and other facilities, workers’ compensation may not apply. Instead, these professionals may need to prove fault in order to recover just compensation. From understaffing to violating OSHA’s safety standards, there are numerous potential grounds for seeking compensation in this scenario—many of which are alarmingly common in the healthcare setting.

Speak with a Lawyer about Filing a Workplace Injury Claim in Ohio

If you work in healthcare or social services and you have been assaulted or injured in a job-related accident, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our lawyers about your legal rights. To schedule a free and confidential consultation at your convenience, please call 888-444-7440 or get in touch online today.