Special Workplace Issues for Healthcare Workers
As a workers’ compensation attorney can further explain, all occupations in the Philadelphia workforce come with risks. However, there are specific workplace hazards that healthcare workers endure that are unique to the healthcare industry. One of the issues facing the healthcare industry is the shortage of healthcare workers. Because of the increased stress and workload that is associated with the healthcare industry, healthcare workers like nurses and nursing home employees are experiencing job burnout and retiring from the industry in significant numbers. The increased workload also places additional stress on the remaining healthcare workers and increases the chances of workplace accidents happening.
Healthcare workers are also exposed to multiple chemicals, pathogens, and biological hazards on a daily basis. Constant exposure to these types of biological threats can negatively affect the workers’ health. Healthcare workers are also at risk of succumbing to ergonomic injuries from the constant, repetitive nature of their occupation. Healthcare workers have to repeatedly lift patients and push heavy equipment in multiple locations. The repetitive lifting, moving, and repositioning of patients lead to overexertion for healthcare workers, causing significant injuries like back pain, numbness, soreness, and tingling.
What Are Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are disorders and injuries of the muscles, tendons, nerves, and joints. Employees are at risk of obtaining work-related musculoskeletal disorder through two types of work conditions:
- The work environment and manner in which the work is performed has to contribute substantially to the disorder
- The disorder has to worsen or persist longer as a result of the work conditions.
Musculoskeletal disorders are responsible for different types of workers’ compensation costs, including absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased health care and disability costs. What makes musculoskeletal disorders so unique is that they are more severe than the usual nonfatal injury or illness. Because of musculoskeletal disorders, there are nearly 70 million physician office visits in the United States.
Techniques That Help Reduce Overexertion
There are certain practices that can help prevent Bustleton healthcare workers from developing injuries caused by overexertion. Some of these techniques include:
- Display the proper lifting techniques when lifting a heavy object.
- Incorporate material-handling equipment like carts that assist with transporting heavy objects.
- Take short breaks when performing strenuous tasks and relax any tense muscles.
- Refrain from adding any extra weight to an already full load.
- Take frequent breaks every 20 to 30 minutes.
Discuss Your Case With a Philadelphia Healthcare Workers' Compensation Attorney
Contact a skilled Philadelphia healthcare workers’ compensation lawyer at Gross & Kenny, LLP if you have questions about filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Our practice is focused exclusively on helping injured workers. Our office is conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas such as Bustleton and South Philly.