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Overexertion a Common Cause of Workplace Injury


Overexertion is dangerous and increases the risk for workplace injuries.

st louis worker comp overexertion

Overexertion is the third-leading cause of unintentional injuries in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Overexertion accounts for over 3.3 million emergency visits each year. Overexertion means taking part in an activity or group of activities that causes an individual to exceed his or her own strength. This condition most commonly affects workers in labor-intensive occupations. Overexertion in the workplace can be due to various factors such as working in an awkward position or using an improper technique or repetitive motion.

Recognizing Signs of Overexertion

Overexertion is dangerous and can increase the risk of injuries. It is important for workers to understand the signs of overexertion so that they do not end up in an emergency room. Listen to your body and when you need to stop and rest. Pay attention to these signs, before you land in trouble. Common signs of overexertion at work include:

  • sweating profusely
  • high pulse and fluttering heartbeat
  • sore muscles
  • nausea
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • dizziness

If you experience any of these symptoms, slow down and take a break. In addition to these symptoms, if you experience chest pain as well, seek immediate medical attention.

Prevent Overexertion at Work

One of the simplest ways to prevent overexertion is to pay attention to the way you work. Good posture and technique is important whenever you are performing a job that requires physical activity. Here are some tips from the NSC that can help you prevent overexertion when working in a highly physical work environment.

  • Practice good posture: Make sure your spine is aligned properly when you are working. Keep your nose and toes facing the same direction.
  • Keep loads light and bend with your knees: Rather than pushing your body past its limitations, lift lighter loads. Do not bend your back while lifting; instead, bend with your knees.
  • Make sure the workspace is ergonomically designed: Depending on the type of work you do, carefully consider how your workspace works best for you.
  • Stretch before each shift: Warmed-up muscles are less likely to get injured.
  • Take breaks: Whenever you feel overexerted, take a break and rest.
  • Try strength training: Use strength training to make your muscles stronger. The stronger your muscles, the greater your endurance and stamina.

Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you have suffered an overexertion-related injury at the workplace, you may be entitled to work comp benefits. However, if the employer or insurance company denies your claim, seek legal help from a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.

Updated: February 6, 2024
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