Overall, Minnesota has seen a sizeable decrease in the number of workers’ compensation claims filed on a yearly basis. However, one industry has seen a big increase in the number of injury claims filed by employees in recent years. Those claims are coming from employees working in state-run group homes across Minnesota.
According to a recent report, more than 500 injuries claims have been filed by employees in state-run group homes this year. When you look closer at the numbers, it gets worse. Roughly 70 percent of those claims are filled by employees who have been injured or attacked by individuals in the program.
Work Injuries In Group Homes
Some of the individuals in these homes are senior citizens, and while you might not think that they are outwardly aggressive, they can act out if dementia or confusion takes a toll. Similarly, senior citizens can contribute to injuries if they need to be lifted out of bed or to transfer to a wheelchair or walker. If medical staff don’t practice proper lifting techniques, back injuries can develop.
However, the biggest source of injury for employees in this sector is intentional acts of aggression by individuals. Some of these individuals have been committed against their will, and others have psychological issues that lead to outbursts or acts of aggression against employees.
“I now have traumatic brain injury and PTSD,” said one employee who was grabbed by her hair and slammed into a brick wall by a violent resident. “We might as well be punching bags out there. We don’t have the proper equipment to protect ourselves.”
Claims from state-run group home employees continue to file in, as the report suggests more than $2.5 million was paid to injured employees in this sector in 2016 alone.
“State-operated nursing and residential care facilities have the highest incidence of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer,” said a spokesperson with the Department of Labor.”
Injured By A Violent Resident in Minnesota
So what can be done to reverse this trend? Unfortunately, employees often find themselves handcuffed by actions they are legally allowed to take to subdue an aggressive or violent resident. However, the Department of Labor said they are allocating an extra $10 million in state funds to better staff these homes and to provide more training for employees in hopes of keeping them safe.
If you have been mentally or physically injured by a resident at your facility, either intentionally or unintentionally, be sure you report the injury to a superior and reach out to Margolis Law Firm. We have extensive experience in winning compensation claims for our injured clients, and we’re confident we can do the same for you. Click here to contact our firm.