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In the United States, health care is the second-fastest-growing sector. The field employs more than 12 million employees, 80 percent of them being women. Workers’ compensation in this industry can be unique, with many on-the-job hazards that health care workers are faced with on a daily basis.
Some of these include:
- Needlestick injuries
- Latex allergies
- Back injuries
- Strains and sprains
While it is possible to prevent some of these health hazards, health care employees are constantly exposed to these workplace dangers. Preventing every injury is not always possible. Statistics reveal that health care workers are experiencing a higher amount of workplace illnesses and occupational injuries than they have in the past decade.
Needlesticks and other sharp instruments are a constant hazard for health care employees. Needlesticks expose workers to bloodborne pathogens, which are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in all human blood and can lead to diseases. Bloodborne pathogens can include HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and more.
While nurses are at the greatest risk, any health care employee who handles sharp devices or equipment may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. These instruments can include:
- Hypodermic needles
- Blood collection devices
- Phlebotomy devices
In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 5.6 million workers in the healthcare field are at risk of being exposed to bloodborne pathogens.
An increased number of health care employees have experienced an allergic reaction to latex gloves that are designed to protect them. Severe reactions can cause nausea and vomiting, swelling of the lips and/or mucous membranes, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and low blood pressure. They may even be life-threatening.
Protecting the Rights of Healthcare Workers
If you live in the Orlando area and were injured in a hospital or other health care setting, you deserve to collect a fair amount of compensation for your injury or illness. Serving Daytona, Melbourne and Orlando, Florida, the workers' compensation lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter can help you decipher the Florida workers' compensation law and build a strong case that awards you the highest possible benefits. Please schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (855) 880-4741 today.