Workplace hazards abound for the millions of people employed as nurses or nursing professionals in this country. Nurses have a higher risk of sustaining certain workplace injuries whether it's back injuries from lifting and moving patients, musculoskeletal injuries after working long hours walking, bending, stretching, and standing; or injuries from slips, trips, or falls. When an accident, chronic condition or illness does occur, most nurses are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Common Workplace Injuries for Nurses
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses are more likely than other occupations to experience the following types of injuries:
Nurses are on their feet and performing a variety of physical tasks for long hours every day. More than 40 percent of all injuries affecting nurses are overexertion injuries. The most common nature of injury among RNs was sprains, strains, and tears. But these types of injuries can also result in disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage and spinal cord.
Slip, Trips and Falls
Particularly for those over 50 years and older, nurses are at a higher risk for trip and fall accidents at work. Most commonly, according to a recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a nurse encounters an environmental hazard such as a wet floor or a cord not secured on the floor and trips causing injury.
Violent events only account for 12% of all nursing injuries; however, nurses face 3x the risk as other professions of being the victim of violence in the workplace. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workplace violence in healthcare occupations can be sorted into one of four categories:
- Violence by criminal perpetrators who have no relationship to the facility or its employees
- Patient who become violent while receiving care
- Violence between employees
- Violence in personal relationships
Exposure to Harmful Substances or Pathogens
While needlestick injuries and exposure to harmful chemicals are very rare events, nurses do face these risks every day on the job. Exposure to any kind of disease or substance can result in a nurse contracting a serious disease that can result in many missed workdays and, in some cases, the inability to return to the same job.
Workers Compensation Benefits for Nurses
Workers compensation is a no-fault system designed to provide employees certain benefits after a workplace injury such as:
- Compensation for Medical Expenses: Covers medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitative devices, and transportation to and from medical appointments.
- Temporary Disability: If you need to be out of work for seven or more days due to a workplace accident or illness, an employee can receive two-thirds of the wages of your average weekly amount (to a certain maximum) .
- Permanent Disability: If your injury leaves you unable to return to work or return to work in the same capacity, you can file a claim for permanent disability.
Help with Your Workers Compensation Claim
While the process to file a workers compensation claim may seem straight-forward, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will be compensated fairly -- especially in cases of serious injury. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their workers’ compensation cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. Contact us today for a free case review.