They are devoted to helping those who suffer injuries or contract disease. So there is no small amount of irony in the fact that healthcare workers report one of the highest rates of workplace injuries in the private sector, according to a recent report.

If you look around Jonesboro, the state of Georgia or the U.S. as a whole, you’ll see that healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries, so it is important for both employers and employees to recognize the dangers in this line of work.

Todd Pollock, a senior vice president of workers’ compensation at insurer Worldwide Facilities, said there are two main types of injuries in the booming healthcare industry.

“There’s patient-handling exposure in healthcare and there’s occupational disease exposure,” he said in a recent interview.

However, there are opposing forces in the healthcare industry, he said. “There’s an increase in risk with an aging workforce, but, at the same time, (workplace tasks are) also becoming more automated.” He added that the increase in automation is reducing some of the safety risks for older healthcare workers and making it less likely that they will need workers’ compensation.

Of course, the risks to workers are not the same across the healthcare industry. Home healthcare is considered a riskier line of work, in part because it involves travel.

Said Pollock, “With the shift to home healthcare services versus nursing home living, there’s a significantly greater driving exposure. More and more elderly folks are choosing to stay at home and have the services come to them as opposed to moving into a nursing home.”

Regardless of their line of work, injured workers eligible for workers’ compensation can fight for their deserved and earned benefits with the help of a Jonesboro workers’ comp attorney.