People generally recognize that healthcare can be a dangerous profession. Professionals like nurses tend to work incredibly long shifts and have to expose themselves to pathogens and many kinds of dangerous equipment, such as artificial external defibrillators. Issues ranging from a slip on wet flooring to an accidental poke with a used syringe could force a healthcare worker to seek medical attention themselves and may even require a leave of absence from work.
Workers may try to avoid their known job hazards, but some are harder to control than others. One of the most pressing safety concerns of something that hospital workers may not properly prioritize. Violence in the workplace has statistically been a leading cause of lost-time injuries at hospitals and other medical facilities. In recent years, it has become an even more pressing concern.
What do workplace incident statistics reveal?
According to a review of reports made by employees, roughly 40% of those working in a healthcare environment like a hospital experienced some form of workplace violence in the last two years. Workers experience unwanted physical contact that could leave them with injuries and emotional challenges more now than in years past.
A federal review of workplace injury data shows an even more alarming figure. Of the non-fatal violent incidents reported to regulatory authorities that resulted in lost time on the job, approximately 73% of them involved people in the healthcare industry. Most hospital workers also reported noticing an increase in aggressive or violent incidents at their place of employment in recent years.
Patients experiencing withdrawal from substance abuse and those in a mental health crisis are among those likely to become physically violent with the very people trying to help them. Medical professionals could end up injured and traumatized, which may require a workers’ compensation claim to resolve. Those injured by violence in the workplace can potentially get benefits to cover lost wages and their medical treatment.
Even though an outside party initiated the act of violence, an incident that occurred while someone was on the clock will usually render someone eligible for workers’ compensation. As such, seeking legal guidance in the wake of such an incident is generally a good idea.