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Practices to prevent serious injuries in hospital construction

The ever-growing population and the fact that many people live longer creates a need for more and improved facilities to provide health care services in New York and elsewhere. Because many projects involve construction on existing facilities, extra precautions must be taken to prevent serious injuries to patients, medical staff and construction workers. Careful planning is essential when expansions or renovations must take place where patients cannot be vacated.

The first step is proper planning and anticipating every possible scenario before ground is even broken. While it is essential to ensure that every worker is equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment, adequate training is also vital. Working under circumstances where everybody is expected to tread softly is far removed from the more familiar construction sites, and briefing construction workers about how to consider the safety of the patients will be necessary.

One of the biggest threats under these circumstances is the weakened or compromised immune systems of the patients. Containment procedures must be planned and executed with precision. These could include separate entrances for the construction workers, portable units to contain dust, temporary partitions that do not involve dust-producing dry walling and utilization of noise reducing technology. Furthermore, prevention of the usual construction site accidents must not be neglected -- fall prevention harnesses, hard hats and other protection will still be required.

While construction company owners in New York would likely not want to see their employees admitted to the medical facilities where they are working, serious injuries may not always be prevented. Injured workers are typically entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits to medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the circumstances that led to the injuries, the claims process could be complicated. Securing the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is typically a wise choice.

Source: hconews.com, "Reinforcing Preventative Treatment in Hospital Construction", Kris Manning, Feb. 20, 2018

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