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Traumatic work injury suffered when nurse is held hostage

Illinois workers in the construction or manufacturing industries might be surprised to learn that hospital workers face higher risks of suffering workplace injuries than they do. The truth is that hospitals are far more dangerous workplace environments with multiple sources of safety hazards that can cause work injury. Concerned parties say this should be a significant reason for action among leaders in the medical and nursing industries.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, five causes make up most of the occupational injuries among hospital workers. These are -- according to prevalence -- overexertion, slips or trips and falls, injuries caused by contact with dangerous objects, violence and chemical exposure. Of these, the highest percentage of injuries are related to overexertion and statistics indicate that eight in every 10 nurses frequently experience musculoskeletal pain while working.

Violence is of particular concern, even though it makes up less than 10 percent of reported incidents. Any exposure to violence is unacceptable, and a recent case underscored the extreme vulnerability of nurses in certain settings. An Illinois nurse was the victim of an inmate patient who attacked and raped her while he held her hostage.

Such traumatic experiences cause much more than a physical work injury. Victims may need the help of experienced workers' compensation attorneys to make sure they receive the compassion and compensation they deserve. However, without the advocacy of skilled legal counsel, claims for compensation for psycho-emotional care may be rejected, in which case it might be necessary to proceed with the complex process of filing and navigating an appeal.

Source:, "Creating a culture of safety in nursing", Keith Carlson, June 9, 2017

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