Early this year, the Charlotte Business Journal listed the top 10 fastest growing jobs in North Carolina. Five of the 10 were in the health care industry. While health care workers care for others, they are often at risk of contracting illness or sustaining a workplace injury in the course of their demanding jobs.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that doctors, nurses and others who work in hospitals are all at risk of workplace violence. When violence happens where people work, it can have a variety of impacts on a person’s health, including psychological issues, physical injuries and in worst-case scenarios, even death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 300 Americans per week experience trauma from nonfatal workplace violence that require days away from their jobs. About two-thirds of those workers are female, and slightly more than two-thirds are in health care or social assistance work.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty percent of them needed three to five days away from work to recover and nearly one-quarter of them needed a month or more away from their jobs for recovery.
Although anyone who works in a hospital is at risk of occupational violence, those who work in certain parts of the facility are at highest risk:
- Emergency rooms
- Waiting rooms
- Geriatric units
- Psychiatric wards
Health care workers who are injured on the job are typically entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits. When deserved benefits are denied, you can speak with a skilled attorney experienced in workers’ comp appeals.