Health Care Workers
The workers' compensation attorneys at Amos, Dittrich & Ushana regularly represent health care workers who suffer from occupational injuries and illnesses in Salinas and San Jose, California.
Occupational Hazards Encountered by the Health Care Industry
While the health care industry takes care of the sick, disabled, and elderly, for its own employees it is a dangerous place to work. In fact, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the number of health care workers who have suffered a workplace injury or illness has steadily climbed over the last ten years, so that working in health care is as dangerous as working in construction or agriculture.
Compared to other industries, health care workers suffer from a high amount of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which include back, neck, shoulder, and other connective tissue injuries. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused by either the work itself or by the employees' working environment. For health care workers, lifting and transferring patients, transporting heavy equipment, and pushing large carts may all contribute to an MSD. Symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder include:
- Swelling or stiffness in the joints
- Pain in the wrists, forearms, elbows, neck, or back followed by discomfort, such as aching, tingling, or cramping
- Reduced range of motion in the shoulder, neck, or back
- Numbness or burning in the hand
- Reduced grip strength
- Dry, itchy, or sore eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Loss of color in affected regions
- Tension stress headaches
Along with an increased risk of MSDs, health care workers are subject to the same injuries and illnesses as people working in other industries, including carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries, noise damage, and electric shock. In addition, slips and falls occur frequently in the health care industry, as slick surfaces are regularly mopped and wiped down, creating a precarious environment when people are often moving around quickly and carrying multiple items. Health care workers also face occupational hazards that people working in other industries rarely encounter, such as:
- Contact with radiation and other potential carcinogens
- Exposure to dangerous infections and diseases
- Working with dangerous chemicals on a regular basis
- Developing a latex allergy to protective gloves, which can be lethal
- Exposure to blood-borne pathogens from needles
All of these factors combine, increasing the likelihood that a health care worker will experience a work-related injury or illness at some point during his or her career.
Seek Experienced, Caring Representation
We are experienced in handling workers' compensation claims on behalf of health care workers in Salinas and San Jose, ensuring that our clients receive the benefits to which they are entitled. If you have been injured or become ill as the result of working in the health care industry, please contact Amos, Dittrich & Ushana for a free initial consultation. Se habla español.