Emergency Medical Workers at Risk for Job-Related InjuriesSeptember 24, 2019
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide basic medical treatment to victims who have been injured in an accident or who are suffering a medical emergency. Oftentimes, they can successfully manage the patient’s condition until they are able to transport the victim to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, EMTs have one of the most injury-prone jobs in the United States. According to a recent study by a researcher with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), EMTs suffer injuries that require medical attention four times more often than individuals who work in other professions in this country.
Researchers found that nine out of every 100 EMTs are treated in the hospital for a work-related injury, as opposed to only two out of every 100 workers in other jobs. One of the most common types of injuries include injuries to the back caused by lifting patients. The second most common injury involves exposure to harmful substances, such as blood, saliva, feces, and other bodily fluids. Fortunately, these are often treated quickly. While not as common as the first two examples, assaults are another way that EMTs are injured on the job. This can be very dangerous for EMT workers, particularly if the attacker has a weapon or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The actual percentage of assaults is likely higher because the majority of EMTs do not report incidences of assault. According to a former New York City paramedic, EMTs often hesitate to report an assault for several reasons. Some think that it is simply part of the job. There may also be pressure from other EMTs or within the organization to not report the incident. Therefore, the current statistics may not reflect the actual number of EMTs who are assaulted on the job.
Boston Attack Brings Attention to Assault Issue
Last month, a Boston EMT was stabbed by a 31-year-old patient who had a history of mental health issues. The patient also sprayed the EMT’s partner in the face with a mace-like substance. In response to this attack, and others like it, emergency workers are urging the state to adopt tougher laws that protect EMTs and ambulance crews. However, because there is little data about which methods are effective at reducing assault-related injuries, EMT agencies implement strategies that are not necessarily effective. For example, one EMT agency in Massachusetts distributed bulletproof vests to ambulance crews, but they found that this made workers more likely to enter a dangerous situation that they would otherwise avoid. In addition, the weight of the vests made their physically taxing work even more difficult.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Secure Benefits for Injured EMT Workers
If you are an EMT worker, and you were injured on the job, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We understand how physically demanding your job can be. Our experienced legal team will protect your rights and secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.