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Healthcare workers lose 2 million days a year due to injuries

Workplace safety is important for worker health and for the financial well being of the household. A work injury can cause physical, psychological, and financial damage to those who are unprepared. Arizona residents have different ways that they can be prepared for dealing with the effects of a workplace injury. Many injured workers are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault.

According to a report released by the Employee Health and Service Advisory Services, there were more than 2 million lost days of work in 2011 due to on-the-job injuries by employees in the U.S. healthcare field. The injury rates are specifically high in the health care field as compared to other industries. Workplace injuries in the healthcare field are second only to outdoor wilderness professionals like commercial fishermen and loggers in work injury rates.

Healthcare injury rates are highest in the nursing homes, with common symptoms including back pain, sprains, and muscle tears. Nurses are the most-likely to be injured at work because their positions require a large amount of physical work including bending, picking up and moving around.

Employees who miss work due to a workplace injury - whether they work in healthcare or elsewhere - may be eligible for compensation benefits. These rules typically vary from state-to-state, but in Arizona and across the U.S. workers' compensation is an important safety net for workplace injuries. Compensation can help with high medical costs. The cost of injuries incurred while in hospitals was over $6.1 million in 2011. Often, hospitals need to bill patients to offset those high costs. Workplace compensation can help employees with the costs they may face due to such injuries and any corresponding time away from work.

Eligibility for workers' compensation is determined as a "no-fault" system, where negligence by is not an issue. Many employees are simply covered for their work-related injuries. With over 2 million injuries in the healthcare workplace in 2011 alone, many injured employees in that field may be eligible to receive financial compensation for their injury, rehab, and loss-of-income from missing work.

Source: UPI.com, "2 million lost work days a year due to health worker injuries," Oct. 7, 2013

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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