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Trends in workers' compensation for health care workers

In planning for future management of workplace safety in the health care sector, professionals must consider trends that suggest areas of improvement or decline. There must also be an effort to evaluate issues that could materialize based on technology development, disease trends, and other issues. Ohio medical facilities that utilize these tools can continue to refine their training programs and safety protocols to encourage ongoing improvement in workplace safety.

A report that evaluated statistics from approximately 1,600 facilities in health care noted that the industry can expect a 1 percent decrease in workers' compensation claims per year. However, the losses experienced in connection with such claims will likely increase by 1 percent annually. Furthermore, the severity of these claims is expected to increase by 2 percent each year. These expected changes are attributed to the aging of the pool of workers in the industry. Workplace violence and practices for safely handling patients may also contribute to these changes.

The most common ailments involve the back or shoulders, and nurses are the most likely individuals to suffer these work-related injuries. More than 50 percent of nursing professionals are over the age of 50, which means that there may need to be an increased focus on the impact of aging on workplace safety. Attention to the need to help younger nurses with professional development appears to be substantial, but there may be a need to better plan for transitioning older nursing professionals into safer roles.

Although trends provide areas for specific focus, the need for safety can affect workers of many types in health care settings. Custodial staff, food servers, and surgeons all face risks of different types, and workers' compensation coverage should address potential health problems for these individuals. An attorney can often be of assistance in the preparation and filing of the required claim.

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