Workers in the medical field treat patients with countless illnesses and injuries each shift. The fatigue associated with long hours and strenuous tasks, coupled with an overarching staff shortage, often contributes to workplace injuries as well as treatment errors. However, patient concerns continue to strain the resources of health care facilities, as well as the employees dedicated to helping others get well.
In recent months, governmental institutions worldwide responded to the pandemic according to the information available at the time. Some believed unprecedented health concerns would not pose a grave threat to Americans. Yet, the spread of the coronavirus continues to put providers at risk. So, what safety measures should employers put in place to protect those who provide direct care?
Standard personal protective equipment (PPE) employers should provide
To minimize exposure, your job site may require simple changes, such as more hand washing or sanitation supplies. Or, your facility may need to install a state-of-the-art air filtration system or construct physical barriers.
Meanwhile, you would be wise to reassess your employment environment, including the availability of necessary equipment to mitigate your risk. Employer-provided PPE should include:
- Face coverings
- Isolation gowns
- Eye protection
Before you clock in, remember that reusable handmade cloth masks and eyeglasses do not align with infection prevention and control practices.
Could you receive compensation for employer negligence?
Challenges will undoubtedly continue as the nation balances staffing and treatment demands with the safety of medical staff. Thankfully, studies suggest that many people exposed to the coronavirus merely present with mild symptoms, like a cough or fever, that will pass.
However, if you test positive for COVID-19 due to your employer’s lack of compliance with preventative measures, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on your situation, that may be your first rightful step in holding them accountable.