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Those who help are at risk of occupational injury every day

Emergency medical service (EMS) workers provide the public with life-saving assistance on a daily basis. They respond to emergencies as they arise, often without a thought to their own health and well-being. It is safe to assume that many Iowa residents helped by EMS personnel would have perished without emergency assistance.

Due to the nature and urgency of their work, EMS employees have a high risk of suffering on-the-job injuries. According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), more than 22,000 EMS employees suffer work-related injuries requiring emergency room treatment each year. Other EMS injury facts include:

  • About 6,000 EMS workers suffer injury from exposure to toxic substances each year
  • Most of the injuries EMS workers suffer are sprains and strains to the neck and back
  • About 2,000 EMS workers are injured each year due to assaults and violence
  • Most of the injuries associated with emergency medical care occur when responding to 911 calls
  • About 2,000 workers suffer injuries each year in work-related motor vehicle accidents
  • Slips, trips and falls injure approximately 4,000 EMS workers each year

Workers' compensation is available to provide an injured EMS worker with medical benefits and wage replacement. In many cases, these workers' compensation claims proceed without incident. However, there are times when an attorney can provide victims with invaluable assistance.

If a claim is denied or when workers have legal concerns about their claims, a lawyer works to ensure workers get the full amount of compensation they are due. Even if EMS workers simply need legal advice or answers to their questions, a workers' compensation attorney is an excellent and authoritative resource.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine, "EMS workers face higher occupational injury rates, NIOSH says," accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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