Ergonomic workplaces can prevent overexertion injuries. Workers who are hurt performing job duties may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
Workplace safety in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a team effort between employers and workers. It is the company’s responsibility to provide the training and equipment necessary to perform the job without harm, and employees should follow the protocols prepared for them. In spite of best efforts, sometimes injuries happen.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, research reveals that overexertion is currently the primary source of impairment on the job. In 2014, 33 percent of the occupational injuries or illnesses were caused by overexertion.
According to the National Safety Council, any physical activity could lead to overexertion if a person puts too much strain on muscles, is not positioned properly or performs a task repetitively without proper recovery time. For example, improper lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling techniques are common ways that people sustain overexertion injuries.
Immediate symptoms of overexertion may include muscle pain, abdominal or chest pain, headache, nausea, irregular or fast heartbeat and overheating. A person experiencing any of these problems should stop the activity right away and rest.
People who suffer from a muscle injury due to overexertion may experience muscle aches, spasms and burning sensations at the site of the injury. They may also have pain that spreads to other areas of the body. Fatigue and trouble sleeping may accompany this type of injury.
Doctors often prescribe medication such as anti-inflammatories and physical therapy to treat an overexertion injury.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ergonomics is the key to reducing or eliminating many overexertion injuries. This process involves creating the ideal environment for the person doing the job, and includes a careful assessment of situational hazards by the worker and the employer. For example, if an employee identifies a potential hazard or notices that an activity is causing pain, this should be reported to the employer so it can be addressed immediately and serious on-the-job injuries can be prevented.
Employees may not be equipped to recognize a situation that requires further evaluation if they have not received relevant instruction. This should be communicated in language that is easily understood. OSHA provides training materials specific to various industries.
An employee’s medical expenses from a workplace injury are typically covered by Workers’ Compensation benefits. This is true even if the overexertion was due to improper performance of a job duty, unless the worker caused the injury on purpose, or was engaged in horseplay. Injured employees who feel they have been denied Workers’ Compensation benefits wrongly may benefit from the advice of a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation attorney.