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Overexertion: A Common Reason for Workplace Accidents

Workplace injuries are often caused by behavoir throughout the day, including overexertion.

One of the biggest misconceptions about workers’ compensation and workplace injuries is that they take place because of acute mistakes. Often, when people imagine a work injury, they picture something like a worker putting their hand where it shouldn’t be and losing it to a piece of machinery. In reality, injuries are more often caused by behavior throughout a day, rather than in just one moment. Among the most what you need to know about overexertion.

tired construction worker



While overexertion can lead to injury in any profession, some jobs are especially at risk. The ones that are most frequently affected are construction, warehousing, delivery, and any other industry that requires a significant amount of physical effort. As far as specific actions, the vast majority of overexertion cases are caused by lifting heavy objects.


The initial symptoms of overexertion include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, loss of mobility, muscle spasms, a burning sensation, and tenderness. If you continue to work despite these signals that you should stop, you may sustain a more severe injury, the most common of which are sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent overexertion injuries is to simply listen to your body. More than likely, it will tell you when you are nearing your physical limitations, so don’t try to ignore it for any reason. Instead, take these signals seriously and take a step towards remedying the situation. Aside from that, the following four methods have proved to be consistently effective in preventing workplace injuries.

Take Breaks – Many overexertion injuries come as the result of intense fatigue. When you go past your capabilities, your body starts to malfunction, you become weaker, and you are prone to poor decision making. The result of this physical and mental state can be a severe injury. To avoid this, don’t be afraid to take short breaks when needed.

Speak Up – Often, workers stay quiet about their physical state because they don’t want to disappoint upper management. Unfortunately, this short-sighted approach doesn’t pay off. Instead, be honest about when you need help or a break.

Use Machinery – Because so many overexertion cases are caused by lifting, using machinery to help lift is an effective prevention strategy. When you can, you should use a machine over your own strength. If your workplace does not have this type of equipment, consider talking to management about obtaining some.

Work in Teams – Much like using machinery, working as a team can also lighten your lifting load and make you safer. Additionally, this will improve the relationships and culture of your company.

Now that you understand overexertion, you can adjust your workplace behavior to increase your chances of safety. Unfortunately, those efforts could still fail and result in you sustaining an injury at work. If this ever happens to you, give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 to learn more about your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits.

Updated: September 18, 2018