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Long-term health care workers in BC at high risk for injury

There is no question that health care workers play an important role in society. While providing care for others, many may not be aware that they could be putting their own health on the line. Readers may be surprised that British Columbia long-term health care workers are at a higher risk of being injured on the job than forestry workers, police officers or construction workers.

Compared to the worker's average injury rate in the province of 2.3 per 100 workers, the injury rate of B.C. long-term health care workers is 9.3 per 100 workers. It is worth noting that the injury rate of long-term health care workers is more than twice that of health care workers who work in acute care. Particularly at risk are health care assistants, including orderlies and nurses aides.

The claims are the result of a variety of things. Acts of violence are the second leading cause of injury while over-exertion from patient handling is the leading cause. The acts of violence could be attributed in part to the high number of seniors living with dementia, who can be violent.

When a health care provider is injured and unable to do his or her job, they may be worried about how they will support themselves and unaware of their options. Compensation may be sought from WorkSafeBC via a claim. These claims are not always granted. In other situations the benefits could stop too early.

In any of these situations a lawyer who handles workers' compensation matters may be of assistance.

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