An Ohio workers' comp attorney shares the details you should know
It may seem contradictory, but working in health care can be very bad for your health.
People working in the education and health services industry have the third-highest rate of serious on-the-job injuries and illnesses out of any sector in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even Mining and trucking have lower rates of on-the-job injuries and illnesses.
Overall, Ohio workers are injured at a lower rate than the national average. The U.S. worker injury rate is about 2.8 workplace accidents and illnesses per 100 full-time employees. Ohio's rate is 2.4. However, when you drill down to injury rates for individual sectors, it becomes clear health care workers are at a heightened risk of injury and illness.
Out of all industries, the Ohio education and health care field has one of the highest rates of worker nonfatal injury and illness. The injury rate for Ohio's education and health care workers is about 3.6 cases per 100 full-time employees. There were 24,000 reported workplace injuries and illnesses in the health and education field in 2019.
Almost half of all people injured at work are back on the job within 5 or fewer days. For others, healing is a much longer process. About 25% of people injured on the job are out of work for 31 or more days.
When people are injured on the job, they need to heal before returning to work. That's why there's the workers' comp program. The state benefit is available from most businesses and provides funds for medical bills and lost wages after a workplace accident.
Common health care injuries
In health care, musculoskeletal disorders are the most common type of workplace injury. Sometimes called MSDs, this injury group includes damage or "ergonomic injuries" to connective tissues like muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, spinal discs, and cartilage, to name a few. This kind of injury can build up over time or spring from a single incident.
Events that lead to MSDs include repetitive and/or unnatural body movements like overexertion, pulling, joint dislocation, poor posture, direct hits to a person's muscles or joints, and sudden jerking movements (like in a car accident or slip and fall).
People most likely to pick up a musculoskeletal disorder at work are nursing aides, orderlies, attendants, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.
Common MSD injuries include rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (elbow injury), and lower back pain.
In addition to MSDs, health care workers are at a higher risk of slip, trip, and falls and being intentionally harmed due to violence by another person (often a co-worker or patient).
Legal help is available in Ohio
Health care employees are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, but even before the pandemic, the industry was risky for workers. When people are injured on the job they can apply to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for benefits. But the application process can be complicated and technical, and injured workers don't always obtain the benefits they're entitled to.
At Hochman & Plunkett, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources to fight for the benefits you need and deserve.
See what an experienced Ohio workers' compensation lawyer can do for you and contact us today for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, and Troy.