Posted On: March 31, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Health Care Worker Injuries Can Be Grounds for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Although caring for a sick person at a hospital, a nursing home, a retirement residence, or a mental health care facility may not seem like a dangerous occupation, the nature of the health care worker’s job can lead to certain work injuries. In these instances, the nurse, nursing assistant, laboratory aid, orderly, or other type of health care worker is likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Common kinds of health care worker injuries:
• Musculoskeletal disorders
• Neck Injuries
• Back Injuries
• Arm injuries
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Assault injuries by mentally ill or emotionally volatile patients
• Sharp injuries (from needles, surgical tools, lancets, and other sharp instruments) that can lead to exposure to blood borne pathogens that may result in HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and other illnesses.

From 1995 to 2004, orderlies, attendants, and nursing home assistants belonged in the group (second only to truck drivers) with the most number of reported work injuries and illnesses. Almost 800,000 of these workers got sick or were injured on the job during this time period. 154 workers died from their work injuries.

54% of the workplace injuries affecting home health assistants, nursing assistants, and psychiatric aides appeared to involve musculoskeletal disorders, often caused by fall accidents, slip accidents, trip accidents, and auto accidents. Overexertion, which can occur when lifting heavy patients or equipment, appeared to be another common causes of injuries.

Workers' Compensation
Regardless of who was at fault in causing your health care worker injury, it is important that you receive the workers’ compensation that you are owed as soon as possible. The best way to ensure this in Illinois is to talk to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney about your work injury claim.

UCSF Study Looks at Injured Hospital Workers, UCSF, February 8, 2005

Occupational Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities among Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides, 1995-2004, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Web Resources:
Researchers link nursing injuries to staffing levels, Medical News Today, June 5, 2009

Needlestick/Sharps Injuries, OSHA.gov


Contact our Illinois workers’ compensation law firm today.

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