The American Hospital Association and the National Labor Relations Board are investigating whether employees are getting compensation for injuries sustained while working.
The AMA, which represents the nation’s largest hospital groups, is calling on employers to make sure workers get compensated for their injuries.
The board has jurisdiction over health care workers and also oversees labor law, labor standards and wage and hour law.
AMA President David Hochstein and the NLRB’s deputy director, John Schulkin, issued a joint statement Tuesday calling on the health care industry to be more proactive about addressing workers’ injuries.
“We are urging employers to conduct and enforce a comprehensive and robust investigation of worker injuries, including through an independent contractor investigation, and to hold companies accountable for any harm caused,” Hochsteins statement said.
“It is essential for employers to ensure their employees are adequately compensated and compensated for injuries they sustain while performing their jobs.”
Hochstins statement also said the industry should be “more proactive about taking appropriate steps to prevent or mitigate worker injuries.”
The AMA and the Labor Department have launched an investigation of more than 1,500 workplace injuries since 2000.
It is the third such investigation since 2015, and the first to address the issue of workers’ compensation.
The two agencies have a partnership to investigate worker injuries in hospitals and medical facilities.
The investigations are based on federal laws and regulations, including laws protecting employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively.
Employers can ask to be subject to an independent audit or to have a third party audit their workforces to determine whether workers have been injured.
They also can ask the Labor Board to investigate the injuries, and if the Labor Boards investigation concludes there is reasonable cause to believe the injuries were the result of injury, employers must pay workers compensation.
Employer accountability is important, Hochsten said in a statement.
“But an employer has no duty to prevent workers from experiencing injury.
In fact, that’s the employer’s job.”
The industry is expected to file its own investigation of injuries within two weeks, the statement said, and an independent medical examiner will also be required to perform an independent investigation.
“While employers have a duty to ensure employees are properly compensated, the industry has an obligation to ensure that workers are compensated for injury,” the statement added.
The labor board, which is investigating the hospital industry, has also taken a closer look at workplace safety at the federal level, and has sent letters to more than 70 employers asking them to address workers’ rights issues and to conduct independent investigations of injuries.
Hochstal’s statement also urged the labor board to take action on “worker protection” legislation, including requiring companies to use more safety-related technology such as electronic monitoring, emergency response systems and fire protection.