Maryland EMS workers may be interested to know that a study published on Sept. 15 showed that emergency service members who worked extended shifts were more likely to suffer injuries than those that worked shorter shifts. Essentially, the researchers discovered that employees that worked shifts that were longer than 12 hours were 50 percent more likely to suffer injuries.
The job requirements for EMS workers are demanding. In addition to having to lift and move patients, they must be able to provide medical care in stressful and often chaotic situations. Some of them work up to 24 hours at a time, which could inhibit their ability to provide the best care possible or to avoid certain hazards that could result in serious job injuries. Those who worked 24-hour shifts were more than double at risk for becoming injured that those who worked eight or less hours at a time.
Researchers noted that the results of the observational study did not prove that the longer shifts resulted in injuries; however, the results did show a trend. The study authors stated that the possible link should be tested in a randomized design.
It is no secret that being an emergency service member can be dangerous work, especially because they are often working in stressful situations. If they suffer a workplace injury while dealing with an emergency, they may be eligible to file a claim for benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Potential benefits can include medical care as well as wage replacement. Many injured workers find that the assistance of an attorney can be helpful when preparing and submitting their claims.