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Workers' Compensation

October 11, 2011

With a staggering epidemic of workplace injuries among hospital workers, Governor Brown on Oct. 7, 2011 signed into law AB 1136 to help prevent workplace injuries. Due to excessive and unnecessary manual patient lifting and transfers, healthcare workers experience some of the nation’s highest rates of disabling neck, back, and shoulder injuries.

The nation’s first Safe Patient Handling law requiring the purchase of safe patient handling equipment and training programs was passed in Washington State in 2006. As a result of implementation of this law, a January 2011 study found that neck, back, and shoulder injuries to hospital workers caused by manual patient handling have decreased by more than one-third.

It is hoped that this new law will decrease injuries significantly, but we all know that injuries will still occur. You can prepare yourself so that you are better able to navigate Workers’ Compensation rules and regulations if you are injured.

All injuries should be reported, no matter how small they seem at the moment. Back injuries or needle sticks can create long-term harm that may not seem apparent at the time. If you do not report the injury initially, you will have little recourse later.

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