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9,927 nursing assistant workers' compensation claims in 5 years

Government statistics and researchers indicate that nursing assistants are part of one of the most hazardous profession in the country. According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, almost 10,000 claims were filed by employees of nursing homes during the past five years. Approximately one-third of those followed injuries caused by overexertion.

Statistics also show that the average worker suffers three times fewer injuries than nursing assistants, and the injury rate in this profession is similar to that of firefighters, police and construction workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics made this comparison in 2016. Further information revealed that nursing assistants care for approximately 75,000 patients and residents in 960 facilities across Ohio.

Safety officials report that the fast pace to provide the necessary care and the frequent moving and lifting of residents of various sizes in nursing facilities are the primary causes of falls and overexertion. Typical injuries include those to the shoulders, back, feet, knees and legs. Along with the injuries caused by moving and lifting, awkward body postures during reaching movements and having to spend entire days on their feet also trigger many health problems for nursing assistants.

The adverse health effects on nursing assistants in Ohio could cause long-term conditions that might even prevent them from returning to work. This can cause severe financial problems. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance program exists to help with medical expenses and wage replacement. However, the claims process can be complicated, and injured workers might need the assistance of an experienced attorney when it comes to the navigation of the legal and administrative proceedings.

Source: mcknights.com, "Dangerous profession: nursing home assistants report three times the injuries of other workers", Kimberly Marselas, April 10, 2018

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