Each year in Boston, many workers suffer on-the-job injuries caused by overexertion. Many jobs require significant levels of physical activity and lifting, such as laborers on a construction site or retail workers stocking shelves. These workers frequently suffer workplace accidents due to overexertion. Overexertion injuries are not limited to physical jobs. Even office workers can suffer an injury, for example, while carrying heavy boxes containing files. Workers may sustain an injury while bending down and when moving in an awkward manner. Overexertion injuries are varied and can result from many different workplace activities.
The National Safety Council has conducted various studies on overexertion injuries throughout the years. As discussed in one of the agency’s publications, these are generally considered non-impact injuries and typically result due to:
The term overexertion in the context of a workers’ compensation case is quite different from the way the term is used in ordinary conversation. Many people think overexertion is when you do a little too much at the gym, yet overexertion on the job can result in damage to joints in the form of inflammation and strained ligaments.
The most common injuries resulting from activities that require the use of excessive force are sprains and strains. For example, a back sprain is one of the most common injuries that result in Boston workers’ compensation cases. Research shows that by far, the back is the most common area injured with 52 percent of all workplace overexertion injuries involving an injury to the back. The shoulder is the next most common location of an overexertion injury with data showing these injuries account for 14 percent of all overexertion incidents. Overexertion injuries also occur to the upper extremities, lower extremities, and trunk region.
As for the cause of these injuries, lifting accounts for more than half of all workplace overexertion injuries nationwide.Prevention of Overexertion Injuries in Boston Workplace Accidents
While many people reading about Boston workplace injuries have already suffered an on the job injury, there are certain steps that can be taken to prevent such injuries in the future. Many injuries sustained due to overexertion can be avoided if proper techniques are utilized. For example, most of the workplace overexertion accidents in Boston involve lifting, and can typically be avoided by exercising proper lifting techniques, such as bending at the waist or obtaining assistance from a coworker. Ultimately, whether a workplace injury was the fault of the employee is typically not considered when determining whether an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 152. Still, employees and employers should strive to act in manners that reduce the likelihood of an injury from occurring.
If it is too late, and an injury cannot be prevented, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure the employee receives the benefits they are entitled to. In addition to immediately seeking medical assistance, the employee should also report the incident to their employer as soon as possible. Many injured workers wait, hoping their pain will go away and get better on its own. In many situations, simply trying to ignore the problem can make things worse. Reporting the incident right away to your employer immediately puts the employer on notice of an on the job injury and can help to ensure a claim is set up. If the employee does eventually require workers’ compensation benefits, the employer’s insurance company will be aware of the incident, and possibly will be less likely to deny the claim. While late reporting of an incident does not mean the employee cannot bring a workers’ compensation claim, early reporting greatly increases the likelihood of success.
Speak with a Boston experienced workers’ compensation attorney about your circumstances, and see what rights you may have as a result of your overexertion injury.