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Health care workers are in daily danger

There are many health care facilities in Boston, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, at many of them, workers are subject to injuries. Those who are may have a case for workers' compensation.

654,000 health care workers suffer workplace injuries every year, which is more than any other profession. That staggering number includes a significant amount of back injuries, as health care workers life both patients and equipment on a regular basis. It has been estimated that nurses in care facilities need to life patients on average once an hour. In some cases, that may mean lifting the entirety of a patient, and in other cases, supporting a substantial percentage of a patient's weight.

Also included in the 654,000 workers harmed every year are those who suffer smoke inhalation, needle sticks and very dangerously, exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. This is an area where extreme caution needs to be taken by health care workers, since blood borne pathogens can infect them and leave them with incurable diseases.

All of these things put health care workers at risk. Yet, the danger doesn't end there. There is also a lot of workplace violence. Much of that is initiated by patients, who are in pain and emotionally distraught, and thus experience stresses exponentially more than they would if they were physically well and happy. Those stresses manifest as violence. Parents of young children in care facilities often also reach their wits' end fast, overwrought with concern about their children and lash out physically at health care workers.

On top of all of those physical dangers, health care workers endure a lot of verbal abuse. This comes from patients, coworkers and administrators. This abuse can affect the workers' health and render them less capable of doing their best. For those reasons, health care workers who believe that their safety is being jeopardized at their work site should contact an attorney and get the situation addressed right away.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Violence in the Health Care Workplace," Elaine Cox, Sep. 29, 2017

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