Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

OSHA targeting workplace safety for inpatient facilities

Health care workers in Maryland may be interested to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently in the process of scrutinizing their industry. The move comes due to the fact that health care workers are injured at much higher rates than workers in any other industry while they are on the job.

According to OSHA, investigators have been instructed to hone in on five main categories of commonly occurring injuries, including musculoskeletal disorders, illnesses due to exposure to bloodborne pathogens, slips and falls, tuberculosis and workplace violence injuries. Investigators have also been told to rely on the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, since a number of these illnesses and injuries currently do not have specific regulations governing them.

Compliance officers who encounter other hazards that are not on the list have been told to scrutinize any of those that come up as well. The types of agencies that will be subject to a potential OSHA inspection is quite broad. Literally, any facility that provides inpatient care, including hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities may be inspected.

OSHA's focus is meant to help reduce the incidence of workplace injuries and illnesses suffered by many who work within the health care industry. When a person is injured while working on the job, they may be eligible to file a claim with their employer's workers' compensation carrier. Most health care industry employers are mandated to carry this type of insurance coverage in order to protect their employees. Injured people may want to seek the help of a workers' compensation attorney when they need to file a claim. An attorney may be more familiar with additional categories of benefits to which their clients may be entitled. In the event the employer or insurance carrier disputes or denies the claim, an attorney may then appeal the decision on behalf of their clients before administrative hearing officers.

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