When you hear the words “workplace injury,” you probably imagine an accident of some kind. It could be catastrophic, like an explosion or a fire. Or something smaller, like tripping or being hit by falling objects. Either way, it’s probably something that happens very suddenly.
What you probably didn’t imagine is millions of fit and healthy workers throwing out their backs doing the same job they do every day, but this is a much more common problem than one-time accidents. It’s called an overexertion injury, and it’s the most common type of workplace injury, as well as the most disabling.
Overexertion in the workplace
An overexertion injury results from too much strenuous activity, such as lifting, pulling, bending, or twisting. These motions can cause damage to muscles, bones, or connective tissue. Some overexertion injuries include:
- Slipped discs
- Stress fractures
Preventing overexertion injuries
These injuries can come on gradually, or they can come seemingly out of nowhere. If your job involves frequent exertion, use proper techniques to avoid injury, such as:
- Keeping your back straight, especially when lifting.
- Pushing instead of pulling, whenever possible.
- Avoiding fast, forceful movements.
While steps can be taken to reduce the risks, no one is immune to this type of injury. Fit, healthy workers can become injured from exertion, even if they’re used to it. Unfortunately, by the time the person realizes they’re hurting themselves, the injury has already occurred.
When you’ve already been injured.
Once an overexertion injury happens, there’s little to do but rest and recover. Treatment may relieve pain and inflammation, but you may be out of work if your injuries are serious. If you end up needing surgery, this can increase the time needed to recover.
Fortunately, employees suffering from overexertion injuries have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you’ve been injured from overexertion on the job, report the injury to your employer.
If you have a question about workplace injuries and how the law might affect you, we can help. Contact our office by phone, email, or text message for a free consultation!