If you were to ask the average person on the streets about what jobs are some of the most dangerous jobs in terms of workplace injuries, you will likely have answers that include industries such as construction, deep sea fishing, logging and driving professionally. For some reason, people don’t tend to recognize the level of risk that comes with a profession in the medical industry.

Those who work in hospitals, in particular, must deal with elevated risks for serious injuries at work. Compared with the average worker across all industries, hospital workers have more risk according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While the average number of injuries on the job is 105.2 per 10,000 full-time workers in all private industries, hospital workers get injured at a rate of 157.5 per 10,000 full-time employees.

Hospital workers have to deal with long shifts, obligations that include strict compliance with laws and an elevated risk of injury every day they arrive to work. Whether you work in a hospital or have a loved one who does, the more you know about the top risks facing hospital workers, the easier it will be to avoid common sources of injury or push for fair treatment after a workplace injury.

Patients are a major source of risk for hospital workers

When reviewing the various categories of common injuries that hospital workers suffer, it becomes abundantly clear that patient care is incredibly dangerous. Overexertion and bodily reaction, meaning that somebody injures their muscles, bones or connective tissue while performing physical tasks, such as lifting or maneuvering a patient, accounts for 48% of all injuries reported by hospital workers.

As if that weren’t concerning enough, another 9% of injuries will result from violence in the workplace, often due to patients. Patients admitted while under arrest, those with dementia and those under the influence of drugs or alcohol may behave violently or irrationally, potentially causing serious injury to the staff attempting to help them. 

Hospital equipment and tasks account for many other forms of injury

Much of the equipment in hospital settings serve the purpose of saving a life, but those same pieces of machinery or equipment could cause harm or dangerous exposure to bodily fluid for those working in the hospital. Accidental pokes with sharps used on a patient with an infectious disease, contact with electrical devices and many other kinds of accidents could lead to illness or injury in hospital workers.

Exposure to dangerous substances, such as bodily fluids, medication and even radioactive material cause 4% of hospital staff injuries, while contact with objects causes 13% and trips, slips or falls cause another 25%. Connecting with Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits can help you secure top-notch medical care as an injured hospital employee and can even replace a portion of your lost wages while you recover.