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OSHA Confirms Nurses Face a Higher Risk for Injury than Any Other Profession

People in any industry can suffer an injury on the job. Some occupations are regarded as being dangerous. Often, when speaking of workplace injuries, the construction industry gets a lot of attention. However, healthcare workers know that hazards exist in hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities.

Researchers say that nurses, CNAs and, other healthcare providers are more likely to suffer injuries or contract an occupational illness than people in any other line of work - including construction workers.

More than One-Quarter of a Million Injuries Reported Each Year in Health Care Industry

Data compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2011 alone, more than 250,000 health care workers were injured or suffered a job-related illness. In 2012, the injury rate was 6.6 percent for health care professionals in hospitals and 7.6 percent for nurses working in nursing homes and residential care facilities.  Overall, workers experience a roughly 3.4 percent injury rate across all occupations in the private sector. Federal officials, however, say that nurses and health care workers face the highest risk for injury or illness on the job.

It is not surprising that back injuries are a common issue. Moving and lifting patients is a frequent source of acute injury, as well as repetitive stress injury in the nursing profession. However, nurses face many other hazards. Emergency room personnel often face troubled patients. Slightly more than 12 percent of ER nurses are subjected to the potential for injury from a violent patient.

Sharps also pose significant risk, as nurses are highly aware. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 385,000 injuries occur each year - a number much higher than OSHA and BLS statistics. CDC statistics cover a broader spectrum of issues, as not all injuries are reported to OSHA and the BLS.

If You Have Been Injured, You May Need Help To Get the Care You Deserve

Unfortunately, nurses and CNAs often have to fight to get the proper workers' compensation benefits. The insurance providers and hospitals often seek to keep their costs down by refusing to pay for covered procedures, delaying payment to get nurses back on the job more quickly or denying claims altogether. Working with an accomplished workers' comp attorney can make all the difference in getting the full and fair benefits you deserve.

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