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Hospitals need to do more to protect their workers

| Jan 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

If there is one group of people who deal with significant injuries on the job, it’s health care workers. Many of these workers have been hit, kicked, bitten and otherwise attacked on the job.

Unfortunately, some hospitals haven’t done enough to keep these workers safe, so it’s not surprising when you hear stories about a nurse who was sexually assaulted on the job or a doctor who was struck by a patient’s family member.

Hospital workers are at risk of violence

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that hospital violence has increased by around 60% since 2011. Despite that, many hospital administrations haven’t addressed violence, skimping on security measures, running on skeleton staffs and failing to add metal detectors or warnings about violent patients in those patients’ medical charts.

How do hospital workers know if someone could become violent?

Hospital workers have different codes that are used to let others know about danger or emergencies. For example, a code orange means that a person is causing a significant behavioral disturbance in the hospital. Code black may mean that a bomb is in the building. Code gray is used for a combative patient in many hospitals, while silver might be used for an active shooter or hostage situation.

Hospital codes can only be called when an emergency is happening, and they’re not standardized. That means that workers may not know that a patient or one of their family members is dangerous until they’re attacked.

Medical providers deserve better

Working in health care is already difficult without the risk of injury by patients or other visitors. Health care workers who are attacked should know that they may have a right to workers’ compensation as they focus on healing and dealing with the situation’s outcome.