Brian, Zwick, Stone & Associates
Law Firm in North Canton, Ohio
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Are workplace injuries in health care unavoidable?

No one wants to clock into a dangerous work environment, but this is a reality for you and many other workers in Ohio. Although the medical industry provides healing to patients, it is a shockingly dangerous place for workers. Some of these workplace injuries could be entirely preventable, too.

Unfortunately, you might be hard pressed to find an employer who would acknowledge that it is possible to prevent serious harm to workers. It may simply be easier to say that getting hurt is a natural consequence of working in health care. Some experts believe that this attitude is causing unnecessary harm to workers who are simply trying to do their jobs.

Is harm preventable?

It used to be much more dangerous to be an admitted patient in the hospital. In the past, experts thought that illnesses, such as ventilator associated pneumonia and central line infections, were simply natural consequences of receiving medical care. Experts later realized that this was not the case and identified the root cause of these and other ailments, making it a whole lot safer to get necessary treatment.

That same vigor does not apply to the people providing care, though. Needle sticks and back injuries are still common among health care workers. Risks like wet floors, uneven surfaces and violence are just some of the problems you and your co-workers probably face on a regular basis.

Who is to blame?

It is common practice to blame victims for their own injuries. Employers might insist that victims were not following the correct protocol or using the correct equipment. When an employer leverages this kind of blame, it might be a good idea to ask whether the protocol was impractical or confusing, or if the right piece of equipment was even available at the time of the accident.

Employers sometimes accuse victims of being in too much of a rush, too. However, it is not uncommon for policies to dictate turning beds over in a very short period of time, which makes it difficult for workers. Workers on understaffed units are often pushed to do too much in too little time, as well.

Can workers ask questions?

Some workplaces are psychologically unsafe. In a psychologically unsafe work environment, employees do not feel like it is safe to point out hazards or question potential safety problems. An employer who improves safety policies but does not create an environment in which workers can voice their concerns should not expect a better outcome when it comes to workplace accidents.

Victims of workplace injuries often face uphill battles to recovery. Unfortunately, you now know this all too well. If you are struggling to pay your medical bills while missing out on your regular income, you need to reach out for help. An attorney who is experienced with Ohio workers’ compensation law could be an invaluable partner on your journey to securing benefits.