The health care sector is one of the largest industries in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 18 million people work in this field, and this group is among those workers most likely to suffer nonfatal on-the-job injuries.
Here are some common injures that people in hospitals and other health care facilities suffer, and what they need to know about workers’ compensation in Virginia.
Nurses and technicians often suffer muscle strain or sprains. This problem is usually more common for those who move or shift patients for a variety of reasons, including:
- Post-surgical transfers
- Turning or shifting patients to avoid bedsores
- Lifting patients into wheelchairs or onto gurneys
They may also sustain injuries due to slips, trips and falls, violence, exposure to drugs and bodily fluids, needle injuries and stress.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers workers after an injury regardless of who caused it. FindLaw explains that employers benefit from this insurance because it covers medical expenses for injured workers so that they do not need to seek compensation through the court system. Workers also receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage while they are recovering and away from work, up to a maximum of 500 weeks.
A worker must provide written notice of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence. The employer has 10 days from the time it learns of the injury to file a report with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission then notifies the injured employee of his or her rights and responsibilities under the workers’ compensation system.