Millions of sick Americans visit health care clinics and hospitals each year, relying on medical professionals to diagnose and treat them. Medical professionals receive extensive training and take special precautions to ensure they do not acquire an illness from their sick and infectious client base. When a Texas company or employee fails to follow proper procedure, however, it may result in a medical professional becoming injureexposure to infectious agents.
Exposure to workplace hazards
Not only do health care professionals work directly with patients, there are also employees behind the scenes who are responsible for culturing, testing and identifying various infectious agents. These employees are also at risk for exposure to a toxic or infectious agent if proper protocol is not followed. One person’s error may lead to the injury or exposure of another medical professional. According to OSHA, all employers are responsible for ensuring their workers are safe in the workplace by committing to the following:
All laboratory employees must receive formal training to ensure they are familiar with all policies and procedures regarding the handling of certain samples.
All protective equipment, including fume hoods and biosafety cabinets, should be tested regularly to make sure that they are working properly.
New lab procedures, methods or techniques should be approved with the employer before being implemented.
All employers should have a chemical hygiene plan and a biological safety plan available to employees, telling them what to do if exposure to an infectious agent or hazardous chemical occurs.
When an employer does not follow or enforce mandatory safety guidelines, and an employee is harmed as a result, the employer may be held liable for their injuries.
Most hospitals are nonsubscribers under the texas workers compensation system which means they can be forced to pay damages for their negligence to employees. Please see non-subscriber liability above. Also because you work for a a medical facility there are certain other requirments that must be met to preserve your rights. Texas employment law is very complicated and you should see a Texas employment lawyer as soon as possible so you do not lose your rights.
When to contact an attorney
Health care workers who have been injured in the workplace may be eligible for compensation for their medical expenses, time taken off of work, as well as pain and suffering. An attorney can offer legal counsel to those who wish to seek compensation for their injuries.