Health care workers in Pennsylvania and other areas of the country are watching the different Ebola cases with great interest. These employees are at a higher risk for exposure, and some argue that they do not have adequate protections or procedures in place. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health is reporting that OSHA is unable to inspect all hospitals, and they are recommending that workers be given more control over how workplace hazards are addressed.
However, it should be noted that Ebola is not the only danger or workspace illness faced by healthcare workers. While Ebola has a high fatality rate, there are other hazards that should be addressed through comprehensive workplace health and safety programs. These include on-the-job injuries and a higher level of illnesses. According to OSHA, the health and social assistance industry had more injured workers than the manufacturing sector.
Common challenges faced by doctors, nurses, aides, and support staff include exposure to radiation, use of hazardous chemicals, repetitive strain injuries from lifting or bending, contamination from infectious diseases and even workplace violence. It is reported that OSHA currently is understaffed on inspectors and cannot provide the necessary assistance in checking health care environments to ensure that they are safe.
If someone is injured while working at a health care facility, they may be eligible for Workers' Compensation. This insurance will cover their medical bills and some part of lost wages. However, approval for coverage is not always immediate. If an individual is denied a claim, they may be able to file an appeal to have the case reviewed. An attorney can work with the injured party to help them present a full and accurate picture of the work-related injury. In some cases, the denial may be overturned so that the individual can get the treatment and care that they require. If you have questions, call 888-99-DUGAN today for a free consultation.