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Work-related accident risk high in hospital setting in New York

People who think of workplace injuries may immediately imagine job sites such as factories, steel mills or farms, where heavy machinery can pose hazards to workers. However, one work environment that is sometimes neglected in New York is the hospital, where workers are exposed to sharp objects and may have to lift heavy patients and equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes the dangers in the medical setting and has created a new resource in an effort to prevent work-related accident situations from occurring.

The educational Internet resource allows hospitals to assess their safety levels. Officials said it is warranted because a whopping 250,000 illnesses and injuries related to the job setting occurred in U.S. hospitals in 2012. The injuries and illnesses cost medical facilities $2 billion annually in workers' compensation.

In addition to offering self-assessments, the new OSHA resource provides fact books and guides featuring best practices. Information about common hospital injuries, such as exposure to substances as well as slips and falls, specifically are covered in the resource. Healthcare is actually the most dangerous career area in the nation due to the hundreds of thousands of illnesses and injuries that can occur in a year's time.

Employers in New York must purchase insurance that offers benefits to employees who fall victim to injuries or illnesses in the workplace. This insurance helps to cover an injured worker's wages. Additionally, an employee who has experienced a work-related accident, whether in a factory or at a hospital, certainly retains the right to fight for all of the benefits to which he or she is entitled.

Source: fiercehealthcare.com, OSHA launches worker-patient safety resource for hospitals, Zack Budryk, Jan. 17, 2014

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