The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

Overexertion is a common cause of workplace injuries

Being a hard worker is one thing, and completely overworking your body is something entirely different. Overexertion causes a surprisingly high number of workplace injuries, and you could be at risk even if you think your job is not too physically demanding. 

If your boss does not provide adequate safety training, proper breaks or necessary equipment, you could be looking at an injury in your future. If you have already suffered an overexertion injury then you understand just how problematic this issue is. 

Overexertion in the workplace 

Data from 2016 indicates that overexertion is responsible for 35 percent of accidents in the workplace. These injuries are also expensive, accounting for about 25 percent of all workers' compensation costs in 2012, which amounts to about $15 billion. That same year, over 322,000 people missed one or more days of work because they were suffering from overexertion. 

If you work in a physically demanding job then you are at a fairly high risk for overexertion. What about jobs that most people do not traditionally think of as physical? Even retail and government workers suffer high overexertion rates. Other at-risk industries include: 

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Education and health services

What are its causes? 

Excessive lifting of heavy items or other physically exhausting tasks are common causes of exertion. However, repeated motions that involve light objects are also frequent culprits, along with spending prolonged periods either standing or sitting. 

Preventative measures are key to combatting overexertion. Limiting the amount of time you spend doing certain motions, taking frequent breaks from sustained positions and adjusting your desk or computer height can all help keep you safe and healthy. Unfortunately, most Pennsylvania workers do not have the luxury of deciding when they will take their work breaks or if they can move to a different task.  

What to do after an injury 

You should report sensations of numbness, swelling, tenderness or pain as soon as they surface. These are often the first warning signs of overexertion, and you may be able to avoid a serious injury by getting a temporary reassignment to different work duties. However, few people may actually have this option. 

If you are suffering from an overexertion injury then you already know just how physically taxing it can be. When workplace injuries prevent you from returning to work, workers' compensation benefits can help you get the necessary medical care and financial support to reach the best possible recovery for your situation. 

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