Thousands of workers in Minnesota risk their health and safety every day while they care for others — often saving lives. Health care workers include those working in hospitals, patients’ homes, dental offices and other medical facilities. Although the list of hazards they face is endless, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified some primary risks.
One of the dangers to which health care workers face on a daily basis includes their exposure to airborne and blood-borne pathogens. The most severe consequences of infections include contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, Ebola fever, swine flu or other life-threatening illnesses caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria, and other pathogens. Another hazard involves chemicals such as sanitizing agents and substances used for cleaning, and laboratory chemicals pose a variety of health hazards.
These workers are often exposed to dangerous drugs like anti-cancer medication and those that are administered as aerosols or gases. When it comes to physical hazards, health care workers in different settings are prone to different injury types. However, musculoskeletal injuries like sprains, strains or other ligament damage, and repetitive motion injuries are par for the course as workers lift and move patients of all sizes. Also, they might be exposed to radioactive materials, lasers and X-rays.
Health care workers in Minnesota who have suffered injuries caused by any of these hazards, or even assaults or other types of violent behavior of patients, will likely be entitled to pursue financial assistance. Medical expenses and lost wages can cause anxiety and concern, but the state-regulated workers’ compensation system will have their backs. An experienced attorney can assist with the navigation of benefits claims.