Overexertion causes around 35% of all work-related injuries, making it the largest contributor to workers’ compensation costs, with an estimated $15 billion every year.
Data from the General Social Survey shows that people are twice as likely to report they are exhausted now, compared to 20 years ago. Around 50% of people their exhaustion is directly caused by their job. While we may have a lot more insights into burnout or mental exhaustion, there is one other issue that needs to be discussed more: overexertion.
Overexertion happens when you push your body too far, physically. It’s that moment where, even if your back hurts, you continue to lift heavy objects as part of your job, ignoring the pain out of fear that you can’t afford to lose your job. However, overexertion causes around 35% of all work-related injuries, making it the largest contributor to workers’ compensation costs, with an estimated $15 billion every year.
How to Stay Safe
Overexertion can lead to a lot of health complications later on. Usually, your body sends out some signals that you need to slow down long before there is extensive damage, but the pressures of the job can force workers to push through any aching and pains. Sometimes, to truly dangerous extents.
However, it’s incredibly important to stay safe on the job. Even if overexertion injuries are covered by worker’s comp, it’s always better to prevent than to treat. Here are some ways to protect yourself:
Prepare Before You’re on the Clock
If your job is physically demanding, it’s incredibly important to regularly exercise in order to boost your strength. Additionally, you should consider stretching vigorously before your shift starts, to prepare your muscles and tissue of the upcoming effort.
Plan Your Actions
Make any lift or difficult activity a mental process, not just a physical one. It’s important to think about what you’re going to do and prepare your body for the effort. For instance, lifting heavy objects should never put a strain on your back. Instead, take a few seconds to grip the object, and push through your legs to lift it.
Take Breaks Whenever You Can
It’s incredibly important to give your body some rest, even in the middle of your shift. Every 20-30 minutes, you should change positions to avoid putting too much pressure on the same muscles and bones. If you can’t afford to take a break per se, even just changing the type of motion can help, as different motions require different muscles and bones.
If You’re Injured, Speak Up
Physically demanding jobs pose a great threat to many workers, as they are more likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries. If this happens to you, then you should notify your employer at once and file a claim for worker’s comp benefits to getting adequate treatment, as it is your legal right. Get in touch with a St. Louis worker’s comp lawyer for additional support in filing the claim and receiving the benefits. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.