The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reports that the state has nearly 495,300 workers in the health care and social assistance industries. We count on these people to take care of us, but rarely think about what might happen if they themselves were injured.
However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health care workers experience more nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses than those in the manufacturing industry. Those working in nursing and residential care facilities are even more vulnerable, suffering more accidents and illnesses than correctional officers.
Reasons for Health Care Accidents
In their February 2018 newsletter Compact, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reported that “hospitals regularly report more paid indemnity claims than any other detailed industry in Minnesota.” They also listed some common reasons for injury as being caused by:
- Overexertion from lifting, turning, or holding someone
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Violence from a patient
- Transportation incidents
Violence a Major Contributor
The information surrounding violence against hospital professionals is especially telling. According to DLI, more hospital workers were injured as a result of violence in 2016 than in any year since their current coding system was established. A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also reveals that health care and social assistance workers are anywhere from five to twelve times more likely to encounter on-the-job violence than workers overall.
Other Factors that Contribute to Mankato Workers’ Compensation
Aside from violence, there are a number of other factors that might contribute to the high number of injuries and illness among medical professionals, namely:
- Health care workers, particularly doctors and nurses, often work long shifts with very little sleep.
- Excessive lifting, which is sometimes required due to a shortage of medical staff.
- Slips and falls. Hospital and nursing home floors are subject to frequent spills, and are constantly being mopped. In turn, this leaves a very slippery surface on which to maneuver patients or carts.
- Poor sanitation, something that then leaves hospital staff exposed to bacteria and viruses.
According to the Paraprofessional Health Institute (PHI), incompatible assignments can lead to an increase in injuries among home health care workers as well. This organization claims that these employees are often assigned patients for whom they are physically unable to assist. They also work without supervision and with little or no support from their peers.
Benefits are for Full or Part Time
PHI reports that when direct care workers such as home health aides, nurse’s assistants, and personal care assistants take time off from work because of an injury, 63 percent do not receive any pay. More than half of all direct care workers are employed only part time, in which case they may feel as though they are ineligible for benefits.
In Minnesota, almost all businesses with even one part-time employee are required to provide worker’s compensation coverage. This means that you can file a claim regardless of whether you are full or part time. Don’t fall for any misinformation you may receive that says you are not eligible. Should you need assistance in sorting the matter out, please contact us.
Reasons to Hire a Mankato Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you are a health care professional, there are plenty of reasons to hire an attorney to assist you with your worker’s compensation claim. A few of those reasons include:
- Helping you overcome any threats or intimidation that might occur as a result of you filing a claim.
- Safeguarding your professional license and/or reputation. Medical facilities will sometimes try to avoid responsibility by claiming that the injured party was actually responsible.
- Protecting you against any acts of retaliation.
- Ensuring there is no conflict of interest when it comes to your health care providers and/or insurance company.
- Negotiating the best possible settlement.
Choose an Experienced Worker’s Compensation Attorney in Mankato
Health care professionals in Southern Minnesota may sometimes feel uncomfortable filing a worker’s compensation claim on their own.
You’ve taken care of others, and now it is time to allow us to take care of you at Harvey & Carpenter in Mankato, Minnesota.
If you need help with a worker’s compensation or Social Security Disability claim, please contact us.