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Healthcare workers falling prey to increasing workplace injuries

Not only do healthcare workers in New York City face the usual work injuries regarding slips, falls, sprains and other lifting injuries, but they are increasingly facing the specter of being victims to violence-related work injuries. Reliable statistics indicate about a 65 percent increase in workplace injuries that are violence related for all healthcare workers from 2012 through 2014. The increase for nurses was 55 percent for the same period.

These injuries are in most cases covered by workers' compensation benefits. Hospital human relations offices must assure workers that they can make a claim for benefits when a violence-related injury occurs. Whenever a worker is not provided with ready access to information and forms in that respect, it is time to see a workers' compensation law firm for professional guidance.

Aggressive behavior by patients has been an increasing problem, which includes the large category of addiction-related patients who may exhibit aggressive behavior. Hospitals who have recognized the problem have adopted various safety protocols designed to have a coordinated response among hospital personnel to quickly defuse an incident, hopefully prior to the infliction of work injuries. Training for healthcare workers is an important arm of that strategy.

Trained workers are much less likely to fall prey to violence-prone workplace injuries in New York City and elsewhere. Behavioral recognition training and the coordinated responses to such threats are a typical educational safety course that many healthcare workers must now receive. In any event, the worker must keep in mind that it is important to fill out the claim forms for workers' compensation whenever an injury occurs at work. Whenever there is any doubt in the pace or quality of the response by hospital administrators, one will do well to take advantage of the free consultation offered by established workers' compensation law firms.

Source: hhnmag.com, "Training and Partnerships are Key to Reducing Hospital Violence", Bob Kehoe, June 22, 2017

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