Category Archives: Worker safety

The Right to a Safe Workplace

Today’s post comes from guest author Todd Bennett, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Under federal law, every employee has the right to a safe workplace. If you believe your workplace is dangerous and changes in safety policy are ignored, you can request an inspection from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Workers’ compensation, which is regulated on a state-by-state level, covers medical bills, lost wages, disability and vocational rehabilitation services for employees injured on the job. If you have any questions regarding these benefits, please contact an experienced lawyer in your area.

 If you believe you work in an unsafe work area, here are some tips to be aware of to make sure your workplace is as safe as possible, and you protect yourself from significant injury:

  1.  Know the hazards in your workplace.
  2. While in a seated position, keep your shoulders in line with your hips. Use good form when lifting.
  3. Injuries occur when workers get tired. Take breaks when you’re tired.
  4. Do not skip safety procedures just because it makes the job easier or quicker. Using dangerous machinery is the one of the leading causes of work injuries.
  5. Be aware of where emergency shutoff switches are located.
  6. Report unsafe work areas.
  7. Wear proper safety equipment.

If you are injured due to an unsafe workplace, and you are unsure of the benefits that you are entitled to, contact an experienced attorney in your area.

How Safe Is Healthcare for Workers?

Today’s post comes from guest author Rod Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

We represent a large number of workers injured in the healthcare industry in Wisconsin.

The article that today’s blog post is based upon is an in-depth look at how one state’s OSHA office interacts with a sector of the healthcare community: hospitals. Like Iowa, but unlike Nebraska, Oregon is one of 27 states or U.S. territories that has an OSHA office at the state level

The “Lund Report: Unlocking Oregon’s Healthcare System” article talks extensively about nuances within ways that OSHA offices, whether state or federal, can measure the safety of healthcare providers like hospitals and nursing homes. 

As evidenced in previous blog posts about senior-care workers and lifting injuries, I have continuing concerns for the safety of healthcare workers. 

According to the in-depth article, “A Lund Report review suggests that in Oregon, regulators are de-emphasizing attention to hospital employee safety, despite national data showing that healthcare workers are injured in the U.S. each year at rates similar to farmers and hunters. Most Oregon hospitals have not been inspected by the state Occupational Safety and Health Division in years. And when on-the-job hazards are detected, Oregon’s OSHA office levies the lowest average penalties in the country.”

Should workers get lost as the patients are the focus of these healthcare institutions? Should regulation and inspections or fines by such groups as OSHA be the driving force toward workplace safety for healthcare employees?

It seems to me that healthcare administrators’ emphasis on profit is more important than proper concern for their employees – the nation’s caregivers. And if you or your family member is the healthcare worker who gets hurt on the job, this lack of focus on the worker is more than just a philosophical argument.

8 Hazardous Jobs In The Healthcare Industry

Multi-channel infusion pump for delivery of chemotherapy

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law.

The most hazardous jobs in the healthcare industry are those whose workers deal with handling hazardous drugs or disposing of hazardous biological waste. 

The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health (NIOSH) has revised and republished informational material concerning the health hazards to healthcare workers were exposed to hazardous drugs. The publication directs attention for the medical surveillance of healthcare workers who come in contact with hazardous drugs or dispose of hazardous biological waste. 

Healthcare workers who prepare, administer or transport hazardous drugs or dispose of hazardous drug waste may face risks to their own health such as skin disorders, reproductive disorders, and possibly cancer.

1. Pharmacists and pharmacy  technicians

2. Nurses (RNs, ARNPs, LPNs)

3. Physicians and physician assistants

4. Operating room personnel

5. Home healthcare workers

6. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians 

7. Environmental service workers (housekeeping, laundry, maintenance workers)

8. Workers who ship, transport, or receive hazardous drugs 

The information provided by NIOSH is useful to identify and correct preventable failures that lead to disease. Early identification of health problems can also benefit individual workers.