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

Workers' compensation matters: Violence in nursing home settings

More than likely, Maryland readers have heard horror stories about the treatment of nursing home residents. While the abuse and neglect that many residents suffer at the hands of nursing home staff is deplorable, it is not the only source of violence in these facilities. Nursing home staff may also become the victims of violence -- from the residents -- and they may make claims for workers' compensation benefits as a result.

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued citations for a facility's failure to protect its workers at a nursing home in another state. After receiving two complaints regarding injuries due to resident violence, OSHA began an investigation into the facility in Aug. 2017. It found five documented instances of injuries and several undocumented instances in which staff suffered injuries due to the violent behavior of residents.

OSHA reports that the Colorado nursing home failed to take steps to protect its employees from this type of harm. It was discovered that residents would hit, kick and punch employees in the torso and head. Some residents bit or scratched workers. OSHA recommended several safety measures to help eliminate, or at least reduce, the potential of serious injuries from resident attacks.

Even here in Maryland, nursing home staff members are often looked at with suspicion due to the prevalence of abuse and negligence that occurs in many facilities against the residents. Few people may realize that the staff are also at risk of injury from the residents. Nursing home workers who suffer injuries in violent encounters with residents could suffer significant injuries. Fortunately, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits to cover their medical needs and loss of income associated with those injuries.

Source:, "Colorado Company Cited in Workplace Violence Case", Feb. 8, 2018

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