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When is a healthcare work injury serious enough to contact OSHA?


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5/20/2014
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The number of serious injuries a healthcare worker can suffer are practically infinite, so it is reasonable to wonder if every on-the-job injury should be treated as a compensable accident. Employees may shrug off a bump against a wall cupboard without a second thought, but a sudden fall can have serious consequences.

How Do You Know When Your Employer Should Report a Healthcare Work Injury to OSHA?

OSHA requires employers to record any work-related injuries or illnesses that are significant. Generally speaking, any injury that causes an employee to miss days of work or requires medical treatment may be considered significant. In addition, healthcare workers may consider any of the following conditions to be a serious injury:

  • Potential infections – Any cuts, scratches, lacerations, or that may be contaminated with another person’s blood or other infectious material must be reported. In the case of healthcare providers, this often takes the form of a needlestick injury at work or cut from a sharp object that has been contaminated.
  • Positive TB tests – Many hospitals require their workers to submit to regular tuberculosis skin testing. Any positive TB skin test or doctor’s diagnosis after exposure to tuberculosis constitutes a significant illness.
  • Medical removal – OSHA requires employers to report any accident or situation that causes an employee to be medically removed from the workplace due to a health standard violation.

Keep in mind that it is your employer’s responsibility to report these injuries—not yours. However, you may want to inquire if the incident has been logged, since the information could help you seek payment from your insurance company.

If you know a nurse or medical assistant who is having trouble getting the insurance benefits they need, be sure to send them a link to this article via email or Facebook.



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