Workers Compensation for Nurses and Health Care Workers

Categories: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law. | June 7, 2023

Nurses and health care workers play a critical role in the healthcare system in Illinois. Nurses and other people who work in the healthcare industry work hard to help people heal. Although many people may not think of nursing as a dangerous profession, they face workplace hazards that can become a health risk. Nurses spend time walking, standing, lifting, bending, stretching, and encountering hazardous chemicals.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hospitals record more work-related injuries and illnesses that cause employees to miss work each year than either construction or manufacturing. The organization further found that 24% of nurses change shifts or take sick leave to recover from an unreported injury, and 8 out of 10 nurses say they frequently work with musculoskeletal pain.

The most common types of injuries nurses face are:

Back injuries due to patient handling – The American Nurses Association reports that more than one-third of back injuries among healthcare workers have been associated with handling patients and the frequency with which caregivers are required to move them.

Repetitive stress injuries – Most overexertion injuries happen when a nurse needs to move or lift a patient to provide care. Overexertion injuries can result in muscle sprains or tears, back injuries, knee injuries, and other muscular and skeletal ailments.

Infections – Exposure to infectious diseases through patient contact or contact with needles and other materials used by patients. Of these diseases, Hepatitis B is the most commonly contracted infectious disease by workers.

Toxic Exposure – Everything from blood borne pathogens and radioactive material to chemicals. Nurses may encounter cleaning chemicals, organic compounds, sterilants, and latex. Accidental exposure can be harmful and injure a nurse.

Violent attacks – Sometimes, patients in a hospital setting can become confused or agitated. Although violent encounters accounted for only about 12% of injuries to nurses in 2016, the labor bureau reports that the incidence rate amongst nurses was about three times greater than the rate of violent events for all other professions.

If you were injured while working in a hospital or any healthcare facility, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced workers’ comp attorneys. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you in a number of ways.

We know this is a very difficult time in your life, and we are sensitive to the stresses you are experiencing as a result of your injury. For immediate help with a work injury case, call (312) 726-5567 for a free consultation or contact us online.