After global events over the past two years have shown, those employed in the health care industry truly are the frontline workers we depend on in the case of a medical emergency or serious illness. Still, a hospital is not always a safe setting and health care workers can face hazards that workers in other industries do not.
Which workplace hazards do health care workers face?
Health care workers face workplace hazards that those who work in other industries do not face.
Health care workers are exposed to biological hazards and bloodborne pathogens. This happens when they are exposed to needles and other medical equipment used on patients. It also happens when they must handle tissue specimens, blood specimens and saliva specimens.
Health care workers are also exposed to powerful chemicals and dangerous drugs. These chemicals are used both in maintaining a sterilized environment and in the treatment of patients.
Health care workers also face respiratory hazards. This could be due to exposure of irritants and anesthetic gas.
Health care workers are sometimes exposed to radioactive materials. This is especially true if they work with patients who are receiving x-rays.
Finally, health care workers often face ergonomic hazards. Specifically, those who have to lift and move patients and those who must complete repetitive tasks could suffer injuries due to strains, sprains and overuse.
Health care workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation
Health care workers are especially susceptible to on-the-job injuries. For this reason, if a health care worker in New Jersey is injured on the job through no fault of their own, they may be entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Doing so can present challenges, especially if their employer’s insurer does not want to pay out what the worker is owed. Still, it is important that injured health care workers seek the benefits they are entitled to in order to recover from their injury and hopefully return to the workplace.