How The Rollback of a Child Labor Law Can Put Nursing Home Residents at Risk
Caring for our elders in West Virginia not only takes compassion, but also experience and the ability to perform tasks without error.
According to NBC News, the Trump administration is currently rolling back child labor regulations initiated by the Labor Department and implemented by the Obama administration. This rule prohibits teenagers ages 16 and 17 who work in nursing homes and hospitals from operating power-lifts designed to carry immobile patients without the help of an adult.
While some teenagers under the age of 18 may be fit and responsible enough to perform this task, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that general limitations exist among that age group.
- Inability to acknowledge risks: Teenagers are more likely to take risks or fail to acknowledge risks than adults. This could increase the likelihood of an accident occurring, potentially putting a patient in danger.
- Physical ability to perform task: Many teenagers under the age of 18 may not have the muscular development or strength to perform tasks such as log rolling patients for sling placement, or pushing, pulling, and rotating patients during transport.
Operating a power-lift or transporting patients, in general, is a high-risk task that requires adequate training, experience, and physical ability. Patients who must be hoisted and transported are already in a vulnerable state. Many of them have undergone surgery or may have been seriously injured. A poorly performed procedure or mistake can put them at risk of sustaining further injuries or being killed in an accident.
Holding negligent parties accountable
Nursing home accidents involving power-lift and hoisting equipment are preventable. When regulations that protect our elders no longer exist, it’s up to nursing homes to pick up the slack. If the management of a nursing home allowed an inexperienced worker to operate complex equipment and it resulted in an injury to a patient, the nursing home should be held accountable.
If your loved one was a victim of nursing home neglect, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm for legal help. The attorneys at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC have years of experience fighting for the rights of injured nursing home residents. Schedule your free consultation today and find out what we can do for you.