Caregiver Injuries and the Role of Negligent Facilities
Daniel Tan | May 4, 2024 | 0 Comments

Caregiver Injuries and the Role of Negligent Facilities

Nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare centers rely heavily on the committed attention and expertise of caregivers. Nursing assistants, personal care workers, and those in similar roles play a critical role in the day-to-day care of patients. Unfortunately, their role is also particularly dangerous. Direct care workers in Southern California are at risk of injury every single day, whether they are caused by lifting, misuse of equipment, or patient assault. At Pisegna & Zimmerman, we fight aggressively to help our clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident. Call us at 818-888-8888 to set up a consultation today.

Across all industries, the average injury rate over a one-year period is 2.9 per 100 employees. When you look at nursing and residential care facilities, the injury rate is 7.3—over 2.5 times higher than the average across all work environments. If you break it down further, the highest injury rates in this category are found at skilled nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities.

Common Types of Caregiver Injuries

The physically and mentally demanding nature of this job lends itself to injuries. Those who commit their careers to supporting vulnerable individuals do so at their own expense, often lifting immobile patients on their own or with only the help of a gait belt. They may spend hours assisting with physical therapy exercises and range of motion exercises every single day, straining their bodies in the process. Commonly reported injuries include:

  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Back injuries
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Hip and leg injuries
  • Facial injuries, broken bones, cuts, and bruising may occur when a caregiver is the victim of an assault

Legal Obligations of Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities have legal obligations to both their parents and their employees. By protecting their employees from injuries and assault, facilities theoretically set their patients up to get the best care possible.

Facilities are expected to provide sufficient training to caregivers, even those who have completed CNA or PCW training elsewhere. This includes training in de-escalation strategies and proper lifting techniques. Ongoing training to keep up with new research in this field and to remind caregivers of proper safety techniques is crucial.

Furthermore, facilities must set caregivers up for success. This means following proper staffing ratios, advocating for caregivers when an aggressive patient is a concern, and creating space for employees to voice their concerns.

How Negligent Facilities Contribute to Injuries

When you talk to injured caregivers who file for workers’ compensation, they’ll often indicate that negligent facilities and managers are partially to blame for their injuries. Some facilities make their decisions solely with profit margins in mind. As a result, they force caregivers to take on far more patients than they can reasonably handle. They also frequently require caregivers to work with patients out of their skill set, simply because they do not have staff members with the necessary expertise or training. When it comes to training, facilities that are chronically understaffed often struggle to hire new staff quickly enough. They compound this problem by failing to provide enough training to new caregivers. New caregivers are thrown into the patient rotation without full training, putting them at risk of career-ending mistakes and avoidable injuries.

Aggressive patients are a major problem at many facilities. Caregivers who work with these patients often must have specialized training and licensure, both for their safety and the patient’s safety. When facilities force inexperienced caregivers to work with aggressive patients, they dramatically increase the risk of injury. Issues may also arise when facilities allow abusive patients to remain in the facility without putting necessary safeguards in place. Not only do the patient’s direct caregivers often leave because of the heightened risks they face, other employees often follow—they see how their coworkers are treated and they do not want to be next.

Compensation for Injured Caregivers

Caregivers who suffer injuries at work deserve to secure their workers’ compensation quickly and with minimal stress. Luckily, California is a state that focuses heavily on workers’ rights, so our Division of Workers’ Compensation provides a lot of support to injured employees. But when an employer tries to hide an injury or prevent a worker from filing a claim, it’s time to talk to an attorney.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney To Start Your Claim With Pisegna & Zimmerman

If you’ve been injured at work and your employer is trying to keep you from getting the benefits you’re entitled to, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Pisegna & Zimmerman is here to help. Schedule your free consultation now by calling us at 818-888-8888 or reaching out to our team online.

Daniel Tan

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