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Health care workers at risk of diverse, serious injuries


Last week's post here on our Syracuse Workers' Compensation Law Blog discussed a story in which hospital laundry workers were put at risk of exposure to serious illnesses. OSHA took action against the hospital in response. But this story afforded us a brief glimpse of what is, in fact, a profession in which many employee illnesses and injuries occur beneath the radar: that is the health care industry.

Once one begins to consider the vast array of job functions that employees in health care settings need to carry out on a daily basis, the picture becomes clearer. When heavy, immobile patients need to be moved -- perhaps on their way to or from surgery, for example -- employees may suffer herniated discs or sprain injuries. Awkward, heavy equipment trailing long power cords and tubing can be knocked over in a crisis and fall on a staff member. And those who work around patients with severe mental illness or addiction may be at risk of physical assault.

It may seem ironic that health care facilities can expose workers to so many accident risks. There are, of course, workplace safety standards that apply regardless of the type of setting, but it can become more complicated to pursue a workers' compensation claim in some scenarios. Workers' compensation may try to reduce or deny your claim based on the details of where and how it occurred.

In these cases, a legal professional can offer specific advice (as opposed to the general information contained in this blog entry) -- particularly one with experience in health care worker injury claims in central New York State. Whether seeking compensation through the workers' compensation system or pursuing a personal injury claim against another party, your attorney will stand up for your rights and protect your interests after you've been hurt in an on-the-job accident.

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