Getting injured at work can be a very frightening experience, but the good news is that you are not alone. According to research, one in five workers in America suffer from injuries or death linked to their work each year. These are often serious incidents that put victims out of work for days or even months at a time and can have long-term effects on their health.
When this happens, it is vital not only that you receive as much care as possible for your injuries but also that the company at fault compensates you for all of your losses and suffering. This can be done through a successful claim for workers’ compensation which covers all of your expenses and even helps pay some of your future earnings if your injuries prevent you from working.
This guide will look at different types of workplace injuries, the leading causes, and which kind of workers are most vulnerable to suffering them. It is hoped that this information can help you better understand what goes on in the world of work injury compensation, as well as how it could affect your life.
It is not just physical injuries that can be caused by a workplace, but mental ones. In fact, it is estimated that around half of all work-related illnesses or injuries are due to psychological causes rather than anything more traditional such as cuts and bruises. With this in mind, it may be better for companies to invest in improving the conditions of their staff instead of simply treating the symptoms.
The most common form of workplace injury is a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). These occur when one or more joints and the muscles around them become damaged, often as a result of having to carry out repetitive actions for long periods at a time. An example of this could be typing or using a mouse for hours on end, which could cause issues with the nerves in your hands, wrists, and shoulders.
Other examples of MSDs include damage to tendons, bursae, and even blood vessels. This can be brought on by movements that put too much pressure on these parts of the body, leading to potential long-term issues such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some of the most common MSDs include:
These can be brought on by having to lift heavy objects which place pressure on your lower back and spine or through spending too much time sitting down without taking a break. Again, this often relates to repetitive actions, such as typing or other similar movements.
Cuts and wounds
These can happen due to sharp objects being used for work purposes, which can injure your hands, arms, or legs if you are not careful. This is particularly common in construction jobs.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
This is the term given to any injury brought on by having to carry out the same movements time and time again. An excellent example of this could be someone who types for hours at a computer every day, which places pressure on their wrists, causing RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome.
The causes of these musculoskeletal disorders vary greatly depending on the job in question, with some of the main culprits being:
Carrying out work in a position that puts your body under pressure and in an awkward pose is one of the biggest causes. For example, repeatedly carrying heavy weights in your arms can be very strenuous on your muscles and bones, particularly the back.
When muscles are being worked very hard, they can become strained or even tear, which in turn causes MSDs. This is often the case when heavy objects have to be lifted with force regularly, putting pressure on your upper body.
Any work which requires you to repeatedly carry out the same movements can be a major cause of MSDs, especially when these are done in awkward positions. This is most common with computer jobs where typing or moving a mouse has to be done constantly for long periods every day.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that employers have a duty of care to ensure that the work carried out by their employees is safe and healthy. This includes taking all reasonable precautions to prevent any unnecessary risks or dangers and providing a suitable working environment for staff without any hazards that could potentially cause injury. Victims can enlist the help of a personal injury attorney in case they get injured while performing their jobs.
When it comes to workplace injuries, you may have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim. This means that you will get financial support from your employer, rather than having to take them to court and get an award through legal channels.
Musculoskeletal disorders are very common, with a wide range of causes. You can work to prevent these by taking your time, being more careful during the process of doing your job, and ensuring you take regular breaks from any work that requires a lot of movement. If you experience any issues relating to MSDs, you must get the medical help and support you need as soon as possible.