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Jackson & New Orleans Workers' Compensation / Blog / General / Workplace Violence Against Hardworking Healthcare Workers: A Serious Problem in Louisiana and Throughout the U.S.

Workplace Violence Against Hardworking Healthcare Workers: A Serious Problem in Louisiana and Throughout the U.S.


Although healthcare workers work hard every day to save lives, treat serious and traumatic injuries, and stabilize victims of crimes, accidents, and other life-threatening incidents, the sad fact is that in Louisiana and throughout the United States, healthcare workers themselves face the threat of violence every day on the job themselves. Indeed, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), from the years 2002-2013, “incidents of serious workplace violence (those requiring days off for the injured worker to recuperate) were four times more common in healthcare than in private industry on average.” The statistics do not lie. OSHA notes that in 2013, healthcare jobs saw 7.8 cases of serious workplace violence per 10,000 full-time employees, whereas other jobs in popular industries had fewer than two cases per 10,000 full-time employees. There is no doubt that healthcare workers are under a very real threat of being violently assaulted, or worse, on the job.

Risk Factors for Healthcare Workers

According to OSHA, there are a number of “workplace violence risk factors” present in healthcare work. Although OSHA notes that these factors vary by the specific healthcare setting, these “common” workplace violence risk factors may include:

  • Moving and transporting patients;
  • Working with patients who have a history of violence or who may be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Poor visibility due to inadequate workplace lighting;
  • The presence of guns and firearms in the workplace;
  • A high-level of healthcare worker turnover;
  • Overcrowding in waiting rooms and long wait times for patients to be seen;
  • Poor communication in emergency situations;
  • Work in areas and neighborhoods where there is a high rate of crime;
  • Unlimited access to healthcare facilities by the public;
  • A public perception that “violence is tolerated and reporting incidents will have no effect”;
  • Undertraining;
  • Understaffing, particularly during meal times and when visitors are allowed;
  • Working solo in healthcare.

In sum, there are a number of risk factors that healthcare workers face every day, making healthcare a high-risk job for workplace injuries due to violence.

Legal Justice for Injured Louisiana Workers

Healthcare workers who are injured on the job in Louisiana, like most other workers, may be entitled to important Louisiana workers’ compensation benefits to help them get back on their feet and to support them financially after they have suffered a workplace injury. Therefore, it is important for injured workers in Louisiana, in the healthcare industry and any other industry, to speak with an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after they are injured on the job.

The experienced Louisiana worker’s compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your workplace injury in Louisiana and to see if they can help fight to get you workers’ compensation benefits due. Contact the experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe today and speak to a lawyer about your rights and options to workers’ compensation benefits for free.

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