Your back may be hurting from lifting too many heavy boxes. You may have constant pain and tingling in your hands after continuously typing on a computer for 8 or more hours a day.
Overexertion injuries like these can lead to pain and suffering, hefty medical bills and lost wages. They are usually caused by excessive physical effort or repetitive activity.
According to the National Safety Council, overexertion was responsible for more than 295,000 workplace injuries in 2017. It accounts for 34% of workplace injuries causing days away from the job.
If you are affected by work-related overexertion, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer or their insurer. A qualified workers’ comp attorney will assess the facts of your case and help you recover an appropriate settlement.
Workplace Conditions and Overexertion
There are many workplace conditions that can lead to overexertion injuries:
- Overtaxing the heart and respiratory system
- Lifting heavy, large or bulky objects
- Lifting items incorrectly
- Excessive repetitions of a physical movement with insufficient rest or recovery time
- Working in harsh conditions, such as hot, poorly ventilated areas
Sprains, strains or tears represent 67% of injuries caused by overexertion, while soreness or pain account for 18%. Other injuries include fractures and conditions such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Employers are responsible for taking measures to reduce the risk of overexertion injuries:
- Respecting employees’ physical limitations
- Encouraging employees to stop or take a break at the first sign of fatigue
- Providing the correct equipment for the job
- Making sure all equipment is in proper working condition
- Training employees on the proper form for lifting, pushing, pulling or other movements
There are two main categories of overexertion injury:
- Overexertion involving outside sources
- Other exertions and bodily reactions
Overexertion Involving Outside Sources
Injuries from “overexertion involving outside sources” cost $13.11 billion in 2016, the most recent year for which information was found.
This category includes injuries and illnesses caused by excessive physical effort:
“Overexertion involving outside sources” also includes repetitive motion injuries from a number of activities:
- Using a computer mouse
- Using screwdrivers, wrenches and similar tools
- Using knives and cooking utensils
- Manipulating medical instruments
Other Exertions and Bodily Reactions
“Other exertions or bodily reactions” include prolonged movements or holding an awkward or uncomfortable position for too long. This type of injury cost $3.69 billion in 2016.
Prolonged movements that can cause overexertion include:
- Walking or running
- Sitting, standing or viewing for too long
Injuries caused by “other exertions and bodily reactions” may include strains, sprains, fractures and nerve damage.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Overexertion
Overexertion injuries may require extensive medical treatment including rehabilitation, surgery and medication. You may have to miss work during recovery and may be left with permanent or temporary disabilities.
If your injuries are due to work-related conditions, your employer or their insurer may owe you workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of treatment and lost wages.
Keep in mind that the workers’ comp process is often complex and time-consuming. Because of this, it’s best to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer if you are thinking of filing a claim. Your attorney will make sure your claim is filed correctly and that all information is gathered properly.
Do you have questions about workers’ comp benefits for an overexertion injury?
Please contact The Alberhasky Law Firm to set up a free consultation. We will answer all of your questions and fight to ensure that you receive the amount you deserve.