Overexertion at work occurs when workers become too tired to do their jobs. This fatigue can lead to injuries because the worker doesn’t concentrate. Overexertion injuries can pull muscles, cause backaches, and create a range of health problems because the body can’t handle any extra physical or emotional pressure.
According to the National Safety Council, overexertion injuries account for more than one out of every three work-related injuries. Overexertion costs more than $15 billion yearly in workers’ compensation costs. It’s the number one reason workers miss days at work.
Industries most affected by overexertion
While every industry tends to push the limits of what workers can do, some industry sectors are more likely to have overexertion injuries than others. The industries with the highest risk for overexertion injuries include:
- Construction work
- Medical care and home health care
- Warehousing and retail
- Utility workers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of overexertion injuries for hospital workers is twice as high as the industry average. The constant handling of patients – lifting, moving, and repositioning them – takes a toll on nurses and other healthcare providers. People who work in warehouses and construction are constantly pushing, pulling, lifting, and moving objects. Retail workers have to stand all day long, and even truckers can sustain overexertion injuries if they travel without resting.
Injuries due to overexertion
Just one extra push, pull, carry, or lift, can cause a worker to suffer an overexertion injuries. Doctors and therapists treat the following overexertion injuries:
- Back injuries. These are often due to some damage to the spinal cord or discs.
- Injuries to muscles. These strains often heal with time unless there is also a tear or some other damage that may need surgical repair.
- Neck injuries. Many workers need to see a pain management doctor for treatment.
- Damage to joints, tendons, and ligaments which can become inflamed or dislocated.
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Heart disease
Some of the signs and symptoms of overexertion include:
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to move
Death, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones can also occur due to overexertion.
While many overexertion injuries are due to one single incident, it is also often possible to recover for injuries that happen over time. Experienced workers’ compensation injury lawyers assert that overexertion injuries are indeed the result of an accident – that one stretch too far, that one lift of an extra five pounds, that one car accident due to driver fatigue. In some cases, we may also claim that overexertion injuries qualify as an occupational illness.
Employees work hard for their pay. They deserve the right to be compensated when they are hurt on the job. When employers push their workers too hard, employees who suffer injuries should have the right to get the medical care they need. They should also be entitled to the standard percentage of their average weekly wage loss. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we fight to show injured workers are entitled to state workers’ compensation benefits and should only be required to return to work when they are healthy. To discuss your work injury claim with an experienced Chattanooga workers’ compensation attorneys, call us at 423-799-3532 or fill out our contact form. We also represent injured workers who are hurt in Cleveland, TN and North Georgia.