Injury and illness rates for U.S. healthcare workers soared my 249% in 2020, according to employer-reported data, prompting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to urge healthcare facilities to take immediate action.
Healthcare and social assistance workers experienced more cases of illness or injury than those of any other industry, the new data revealed. Workers “encountered serious safety and health hazards while serving those in need,” OSHA stated.
OSHA is recommending that facilities take immediate action to address safety concerns including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are obligated to comply with OSHA standards including Personal Protective Equipment and Respiratory Protection Standards to protect workers against COVID-19 in the workplace.
Employers are also urged to create and implement comprehensive health and safety programs that identify hazards, provide training, and include preventative safety measures.
OSHA is still working towards finalizing a permanent solution to address COVID-19 workplace protections.
Healthcare workers, public safety workers, first responders and other workers that provide services in healthcare facilities, residential facilities, or private homes are among workers deemed particularly at risk for contracting COVID-19 at work.
If you’ve contracted COVID-19 illness while at work in New Jersey, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits in NJ. When you have sustained a work-related illness in NJ, your employer is required by law to provide workers compensation benefits for medical bills, some wage loss, and other additional benefits. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help you understand and navigate the complex process involved with workers compensation claims. Contact us for a free consultation if you have any questions or concerns if you or a family member have contracted an illness at the workplace.