A new study by Zippia finds that hospitals are the most dangerous worksites for Pennsylvania employees. Pennsylvania was also ranked twenty-third overall in most dangerous states to work in. If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury, contact a Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your legal rights must be protected soon and aggressively.
The Zippia study identified and weighed several factors in order to designate the "most dangerous" states and industries. First, it examined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's injury reports, and divided each state's total reports by the number of workers employed in that state. Next, fatality rates reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics were weighed as a separate factor in analyzing danger. Finally, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was broken down to determine the number of injuries in each state per mile driven. (This factor was given less weight, as traffic accidents are not always work related.)
Of course, the simple fact that a particular state has a higher or lower accident rate than another state does not mean that workers are protected from injury. Employers and employees must be vigilant about using appropriate safety precautions in all industries, across all states. Employees also have rights to protection under Pennsylvania law: Title 35 makes specific provisions for safety in the workplace. Employers which do not follow these laws are subject to regulatory penalties (such as suspension of a business license), fines, civil lawsuits, and even criminal charges.
Real Life Accidents in the Healthcare Industry
These studies and statistics are more than numbers to the workers whose lives are devastated by workplace injuries. National Public Radio reports on a Philadelphia nurse who damaged a disc in her back while assisting to move a patient. She required surgery to install a metal cage and four long, sharp screws in her back. "The career I had as a floor nurse is over," the injured nurse says. NPR reports that nurses and nursing assistants suffer back and musculoskeletal injuries at a rate approximately three times greater than construction laborers.
Violence in the workplace is another very real danger faced by healthcare professionals. The Independent reports on a male nurse who was injured while attempting to restrain an agitated patient. CNN reports on a series of troubling violent incidents in hospitals:
- A Baltimore doctor was shot and critically injured by a gunman, who later killed both himself and his mother.
- A man in Valley Stream, New York, broke a chair and used the legs to beat a nurse. The nurse required eye surgery, and suffered additional wounds to the face and head.
- A gunman opened fire in a Laurinburg, North Carolina hospital after a bar fight.
- A man in a Columbus, Georgia hospital killed two hospital employees after being dissatisfied with his mother's care.
- One emergency nurse reported that she had been scratched, bitten, spat upon, and struck hard enough to break her jaw. The assailant later apologized, saying that he was "tired of waiting".
Hospitals continue to be a dangerous place for employees. Stay vigilant and use all available protections to avoid workplace accidents in the healthcare industry.