Have you ever been hurt on the job? Even a small injury could make you eligible for Workers' Compensation. Below is a list of the most common workplace injuries that are often overlooked:
- Lifting Injuries: Heavy lifting is one of the most common workplace injuries. These often result in musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), which is defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, joints, cartilage or spinal discs, and tend to keep you out of work longer than other workplace injuries. These are often characterized by back or muscle pain which make simple movements very difficult. Heavy lifting is common and acceptable in the workplace, as it is not the heavy lifting that causes the injury, but the improper lifting techniques.
- Use of Heavy Equipment: Injuries involving heavy equipment are much more applicable to those in the construction and manufacturing fields, as these workers use heavy machinery to work more efficiently. Injuries involving heavy equipment are often the result of an accident or negligence. Regardless, one is still eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
- Automobile Accidents: Those who use a vehicle for work are at risk for an automobile accident. This can include salesmen, delivery people, and anyone else driving a car for a work-related purpose. Workers' compensation benefits are available to anyone who qualifies, regardless of who was at fault in the motor vehicle accident.
- Falls From Heights: Falling at work is one of the most common workplace injuries. Falling at work often results in injuries such as sprains, pulls, tears, fractures, and breaks. These injuries often result in time lost from work, therefore, those who suffer from a fall at work are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Please be aware an injury or illness is considered work-related if something in the workplace caused or contributed to the condition, or if a preexisting condition was aggravated. To avoid a workplace injury, be sure to know the risks in the workplace. For example, be aware of any machinery that can burn you, cut you, etc. Knowing how to properly utilize the machinery will decrease the likelihood of being hurt. Also, do no over-exert yourself. Excessive lifting, for example, not only can cause back strains, but can also lead to overexertion of heart and lung muscles. Recognize when it is too much and have someone assist you.