Healthcare Worker Injuries In Florida
Healthcare workers in Sunrise and throughout South Florida can suffer many different kinds of workplace injuries that usually are compensable through the workers’ compensation system. At the same time, some types of injuries can pose complications when it comes to seeking workers’ compensation benefits, so it is important to have an experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorney who can assist you with your claim. We want to discuss some of the most common types of injuries affecting healthcare workers in South Florida.
Slips and Fall Injuries in Healthcare Settings
Hospitals, outpatient facilities, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare settings can pose many different risks for slip and fall injuries due to crowded walkways and transitory foreign substances on the floors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slips and falls are one of the most common injuries affecting healthcare workers, and these types of injuries tend to happen more frequently in healthcare settings than in many other types of professions or industries.
Indeed, the rate of slips, trips, and falls in hospitals is more than 38 per 10,000 employees, according to the CDC, meaning that the rate of slips and falls in healthcare settings is “90 percent greater than the average rate for all other private industries combined.” Slip and fall injuries are the second leading cause of lost workdays for healthcare employees in hospitals. Generally speaking, slips and falls in healthcare workplaces should be compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system.
As a result of lifting patients, healthcare workers sustain serious back injuries at a higher rate than workers in many other types of industries. According to an article in the National Library of Medicine, the rate of back injuries among healthcare workers has been described as a “crisis” given that “healthcare workers consistently rank among top occupations with disabling back injuries.”
Infectious Disease and Illness
Healthcare workers can be exposed much more often than workers in other professions to infectious diseases. Many of the infectious diseases to which healthcare workers are exposed can be life-threatening, yet it may be more difficult to prove that an exposure and resulting infection occurred in the workplace. According to Florida law, a healthcare worker can seek workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease. However, the healthcare worker must be able to prove the following in order for an infectious, occupational disease to be compensable:
- Disease arose out of the nature of the healthcare employee’s work;
- Healthcare worker contracted the disease while engaged in work duties; and
- Healthcare worker’s job was the major contributing cause of the employee contracting the infectious disease.
Cuts and Lacerations
Many healthcare workers must be around sharp medical instruments that can cause injuries. In some cases, a cut or laceration with a medical object, or a needle prick, can be the cause of exposure to and infection with an infectious disease. In other situations, serious cuts and lacerations can require medical treatment and can result in lost workdays.
Contact a Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you are a healthcare worker who was injured on the job, our Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you with your claim. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today.