Although most people are at least vaguely familiar with workers' compensation coverage, many do not understand what this coverage is for, how it applies, and who is actually covered by it. Unfortunately, some of the most common misconceptions have led to assumptions that workers such as healthcare providers are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The truth is that even healthcare workers can, and should, receive workers' compensation for injuries on the job.
Here are some things that your workers' compensation attorney wants you to know before you dismiss filing that claim.
Healthcare workers are exposed to a wide range of risks for back injuries. Everything from pulled muscles to slipped discs and compression issues in the back occur frequently in the healthcare industry.
Staff in healthcare spend long shifts, and sometimes double shifts, on their feet. That time on your feet puts stress on your lower back. The shoes required for nurses and other medical providers don't always allow for supportive insole placement, increasing the risk of back strain.
In addition, healthcare workers lean over exam tables, handle medical equipment, and lift or roll patients. These actions all increase the risk of back injuries. Any injury resulting from these tasks on the job would be eligible for workers' compensation.
Anyone working in the healthcare industry also faces a variety of medical hazards on the job. As evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ebola outbreak, medical care providers face the risk of contracting serious illnesses even with all of the personal protective gear that they wear. Any illness or condition contracted on the job could qualify you for workers' compensation.
In addition to the exposure to viruses and pathogens, healthcare workers are also at risk for biological contamination issues, including punctures from used sharps material. Procedures exist to minimize such risks, but the hazard can never be completely eliminated. Many viruses and conditions can be transmitted from sharps exposure, putting healthcare workers at great risk.
Exposure to allergens, including latex and other materials, can trigger serious reactions. In some cases, anaphylaxis may result. Any healthcare worker exposed to an allergen at work and suffering a severe reaction can qualify for workers' compensation coverage while they recover.
These are just some of the most common situations when healthcare workers may face injuries on the job. Understanding how workers' compensation coverage applies to those situations can ensure that you seek the coverage you deserve if you are injured. Do not assume the risks for those injuries just because you chose the job. Remember that workers' compensation coverage is there for you and seek legal support if necessary to justify your claim.
Reach out to a workers' compensation attorney near you to learn more.