Monday, June 10, 2019
NEW SPOTLIGHT ON NURSE WORKPLACE INJURIES “Nursing: A Profession in Peril,” a five-part series of reports by consumer watchdog group Public Citizen being released over the spring and summer 2015, explores injuries to healthcare workers, potential methods to reduce these injuries, the policy positions of stakeholders and potential solutions. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data show healthcare workers perennially suffer more injuries — requiring time away from work — than those of any other profession, and many of these injuries result from handling patients. Public Citizen released part one, “The Health Care Industry’s Castoffs: Nurses Injured at Work Often Find Themselves Out of Work and Suffering from Chronic Pain,” on June 9 and part two, “Taking the Burden Off Their Backs,” a week later. NUMEROUS INJURIES In 2013, the healthcare and social assistance industry reported 629,500 cases of injury and illness cases to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 152,000 more cases than in manufacturing, the next highest industry sector. Nearly half (48 percent) of injuries that resulted in days away from work were due to over-exertion or bodily reaction, which includes motions such as lifting, bending, or reaching. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 33 percent of all injury and illness cases in 2013, and workers who sustained MSDs required a median of 11 days to recuperate before returning to work, compared with 8 days for all types of cases. PAYING THE PRICE When a healthcare employee gets hurt on the job, hospitals pay the price in many ways: workers’ compensation for lost wages and medical costs; temporary staffing, backfilling, and overtime when injured employees miss work; turnover costs when an injured employee quits; and decreased productivity and morale as employees become physically and emotionally fatigued. Workplace safety also affects patient care. Manual lifting can injure caregivers and also put patients at risk of falls, fractures, bruises, and skin tears. Caregiver fatigue, injury, and stress are tied other problems. Nationwide, workers’ compensation losses result in a total annual expense of $2 billion for hospitals. “Taking the Burden Off Their Backs” outlines a number of recommended technologies and policies to reduce injuries to nurses and other caregivers. It describes devices that assist in lifting, transferring and repositioning patients. Because most musculoskeletal injuries in the hospital setting are cumulative, any steps to minimize risks during patient handling tasks will offer substantial benefits for hospital caregivers. Even if patient handling equipment is available, experts concur that successful patient handling programs rely on management directives to succeed, such as written policies and committees governing patient handling practices, methods for employees to report concerns or incidents without fear of retribution, reliable systems to measure incidents and injuries, and the existence of policies that align physical stress demands with employees’ capabilities. According to the report, only a fraction (between 3 and 25 percent) of hospitals have comprehensive safe-patient handling programs. THE RIGHT SUPPORT “It’s unconscionable that so many caregivers on the front lines are relegated to using archaic technology to perform their jobs,” said Taylor Lincoln, research director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and author of the report. “Hospitals should provide the necessary equipment and management support to ensure that caregivers are spared lifting requirements that jeopardize their health.” When properly implemented, safe-patient handling programs work. For example, the New York State Department of Health Veterans Home at Batavia reports that it saw a reduction from having an average of nine FTE employees out of work per day due to patient handling injuries to just 0.5 employees after instituting a program that minimized manual lifting. If you are a Nurse in Connecticut and have been hurt on the job, and have questions about your rights and obligations, feel free to call us. Note that no attorney client relationship is established until a signed retainer agreement is on file with the firm. This blog post is offered as free advice only.
United Technologies employs thousands of employees in Connecticut. UTC workers get injured at the main plant in East Hartford, at Pratt & Whitney Middletown, at Hamilton Sunstrand in Windsor Locks and at Otis Elevator in Farmington and Plainville. Common East Hartford Job injuries at Pratt and Whitney include back sprains, herniated discs, neck injuries, torn rotator cuffs, shoulder injuries and knee and hip claims. We have over 30 years' experience working with injured Pratt and Whitney workers to get you your benefits and your treatment. If you work for Pratt and Whitney in a manufacturing or aircraft mechanic role, you may encounter a number of dangers while at work. These common industrial workplace hazards can lead to accidents and injuries including: Severe burns when working near heat sources or using corrosive cleaners Permanent respiratory problems from exposure to paint fumes and harsh chemicals Disc injuries in the neck and back after lifting heavy materials Hand, wrist or finger Joint damage from repetitive, daily movements while assembling parts Deep cuts or broken bones if machines malfunction Hand and arm injuries Forklift accidents When you work for Pratt & Whitney, you may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. These benefits will help you with your recovery regardless of your job title or the type of on-the-job injuries you receive. Call our Hartford Workers Comp Law office today for a free consultation. There are important time limitations that need to be followed in order to protect your rights. Be sure to k now these or hire a knowledgeable Connecticut work injury lawyer to help you. Pratt and Whitney job injury settlements: We can negotiate your Connecticut workers compensation settlement. We have extensive experience working with injured workers in resolving their serious Connecticut work injury claims as quickly as possible. We can resolve eye claims, back claims, shoulder and knee claims, foot, leg and hip injuries, as well as all sorts of contested Connecticut work injury claims. Call our Hartford work injury lawyer today for a free evaluation of your matter.
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Repetitive trauma injuries accumulate over time and often result in severe injuries for construction. Construction workers operate in hostile environments where life-changing accidents are common, but cumulative stress injuries caused by repetitive motion, exposure to toxins, vibrations, loud noises, or sustained positions can be just as debilitating. Cumulative Trauma Explained Cumulative trauma refers to a series of small injuries or prolonged exposure to a hazardous environment or physically demanding work that can accumulate into life-altering injuries. Cumulative trauma usually coalesces in the muscles, bones, joints, nerves, tendons, spinal cord, and other vulnerable areas. Cumulative stress injuries can result in long-term pain or disability, increased medical costs, and lost wages if the worker is unable to perform his duties due to the injuries. Sources of Cumulative Injuries Cumulative injuries result from exposure to regular duties in construction. For example, construction workers who are exposed to loud noises on a persistent and prolonged basis can suffer injuries to their hearing and other vulnerable body parts over time. Workers who engage in repetitive activities also suffer from serious injuries. Specifically, electricians and trim carpenters are vulnerable in their hands, joints and shoulders because the repetitive motion wears out their joints and tendons. Continuous exposure to toxins, even those that are “safe” or in “low-doses” can damage the brain and cause other injuries. Moreover, construction employees who regularly stand or sit on vibrating surfaces also incur significant wear and tear on their bodies. Workers who regularly perform awkward- or heavy-lifting also suffer damage to their hips, knees, and back – even if they lift properly. Exposure to loud noises, heavy lifting, and repetitive motions can cause subtle but detectable injuries which, over time, can result in disabilities which could require the worker to take an extended leave from work to recover. Possible Injuries Exposure to various incidents can result in a broad range of injuries, including but not limited to: Carpal tunnel in the joints (particularly wrists); Tendon and joint problems (such as tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis); Deafness; Cancer; Lung problems; and Hand-arm vibration syndrome which is significant nerve damage in the hands and arms due to vibration exposure.