If you are a nurse working in California, you know that helping to heal and care for others does not preclude you from injuries, especially on-the-job injuries. While many hospitals maintain excellent standards to keep patients safe, they may bend the rules when it comes to keeping their own staff safe as well.
One of the most common ways that hospitals may endanger their workers is by understaffing. This regularly leads to poorer care for patients and increased risk of injury for overworked staff.
California maintains the most wide-ranging minimum staffing law of any state, but the issue still crops up from time to time. This is disheartening, especially because a recent study found that the implementation of the law directly contributed to a decrease of over 30 percent in injuries to nurses since its introduction. Furthermore, nursing injuries are one of the leading types of injuries that women in the workplace suffer.
If you believe that your employer may be violating this law, you should consult with an attorney to examine the best ways to compel your employer to abide by the law and keep you and your fellow workers safe. While it may seem like a reasonable cost-saving measure to staff fewer nurses than the law requires, the penalties of violating the law and the risk of injury lawsuits may help them see the light.
Also, if you suffer an injury while working as a nurse, be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney to review your rights and examine the circumstances of your injury to determine the best path forward. With proper legal counsel, you can focus on recovering from your injury and getting back to work helping those in need of care while your counsel keeps your rights and privileges protected.
Source: Economic Policy Institute, “California’s Nurse-to-Patient Ratio Law Reduced Nurse Injuries by More Than 30 Percent,” J. Paul Leigh, accessed July 07, 2017