New Jersey residents may be surprised to learn that nurses are often injured while at work. The human body becomes less able to cope with trauma as it ages, and more than half of the nurses in America are 50 or older. Nurses often suffer back and shoulder injuries caused by the physical nature of their work as well. According to a report published on Sept. 13 by Aon Global Risk Consulting, less than four out of 10 health care facilities have policies in place that transition older nurses to less strenuous duties.
In addition to strains and sprains, which are often caused by moving overweight patients, nurses are often the victims of workplace violence. An overwhelming 91 percent of the nurses who responded to the Aon survey said that they had encountered some sort of violence at work. However, Aon points out in their report that 81 percent of medical facilities have some sort of workplace violence prevention policy in place. Aon used data collected from 1,600 medical facilities to compile their study.
The report concluded that the severity of workers’ compensation claims in the health care sector is increasing each year by about 2 percent while the number of claims is actually falling slightly. Aon expects these costs to continue to inch upward in the years ahead as the health care workforce continues to age.
Even seemingly minor workplace injuries can lead to long layoffs and significant financial hardship for workers with strenuous jobs. Workers’ compensation programs provide assistance to injured workers until they are able to rejoin the workforce; however, the application process can be difficult to navigate. Attorneys with experience in workers’ compensation claims may help injured employees apply for benefits and fight contested claims.