Whether they are caused by repetitive motions, lifting heavy boxes, or reaching too high to pull down something from a shelf, overexertion injuries have very real consequences. They can happen at work, home, or play, and according to the National Safety Council (NSC), they comprise 35 percent of all job-related injuries. On top of that, they drive up employers’ workers’ compensation costs to the tune of over $15 billion each year.
Causes of Overexertion
Even when workers are in good physical condition, they can get hurt from overexertion. They might be overconfident and attempt to lift something that is too heavy for one person. Motions like lifting and lowering, stretching, and pulling or pushing can injure strong and not-so-strong employees. Standing in a certain position or using poor posture also contributes to overexertion.
Many workers feel pain but continue working, which can aggravate an overexertion injury. Symptoms include muscle pain, muscle soreness, dizziness, problems breathing, and chest pain. If the worker already has a preexisting condition like high blood pressure, the overexertion can lead to even more serious complications.
The NSC reported that over 300,000 employees missed work in 2014 from overexertion injuries, and not all were from physical labor. The data revealed that over 72,000 were in the government sector, and 23,000+ were in business and professional services.
Use Available Resources
Most workplace injuries can be prevented if safety guidelines are followed. Long workdays and monotonous labors can cause employees to lose focus, which is when accidents happen. It is important to slow down and focus on the task at hand. Though people know that the proper way to lift heavy items is by bending the knees, many bend at the back. The items should also be held and carried at waist level, not above or below. Piling on the heavy items to avoid repeated trips is also a mistake.
Making use of available resources is also recommended. Hand trucks, dollies, and platform trucks can all be used to move heavy things like furniture and machine parts. Even if there is pressure to complete the work quickly, workers should understand the importance of proper equipment. Co-workers can also help with these duties.
Avoiding Overexertion at Work
A little bit of careful thought and planning can help employees prevent overexertion injuries. A worker who is experiencing pain – even if they think it is nothing – should stop what they are doing and contact a physician. When a worker needs to lift and move objects, it should be done cautiously and with the correct posture. Asking for assistance, locating the right equipment, and taking enough breaks from work are all also smart decisions. Employees who spend their days at desks should keep the items they use the most within reach. Adjusting the computer, mouse and chair ergonomically can stave off eye strain, back problems, and other overexertion issues.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Offer Legal Guidance for All Types of Workplace Injury Claims
No matter what type of on-the-job injury you have, a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 888-999-1962 or complete an online form for a free consultation. Our offices are in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Pinehurst, and North Carolina, and we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including the areas of Bucks County and Delaware County.