Overexertion is among the leading causes of workplace injuries.
Overexertion can occur in any profession; however, the chances of becoming overexerted are higher in professions requiring physical labor. While it may not be possible to completely avoid these types of injuries, you can reduce the risk by knowing your physical limitations.
What is Workplace Overexertion?
As the name suggests, overexertion is pushing the body beyond its limits, resulting in discomfort or injury. Overexertion could be a result of excessive physical or mental energy used to complete a task. Simple tasks such as typing for long hours or simply working in unnatural or awkward positions can lead to such injuries. The pain is usually mild and bearable at the onset but increases with time. In some cases, the acute pain develops into chronic pain, especially when workers develop conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Overexertion
Symptoms of overexertion include:
- physical pain
Learn how to prevent overexertion at work.
Overexertion can lead to musculoskeletal disorders that affect the muscles, nerves, and tendons. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 industries with the highest incidence of musculoskeletal disorders included retail, healthcare, construction, transportation, and warehousing.
Consequences of Overexertion
The consequences and prognosis of an injury depends on its severity. Work-related injuries can result in lost time from work. Pain may be acute or chronic and may render the worker unable to work or even perform daily activities. If a worker develops long-term injuries as a result of overexertion, he or she may have to apply for permanent disability. The 2014 Workplace Safety Index released by Liberty Mutual Research Institute shows that overexertion related workplace injuries represented almost 25 percent of the country’s top 10 work hazards.
Employers can play a proactive role in providing a safe and healthy workplace to workers. Reasonable work schedules with timely adequate breaks and the implementation of ergonomics can greatly reduce the risk of injuries. Workplace ergonomics include:
- identifying potential problems
- adequate training
- getting workers involved
- full-management support
- ensuring that workers are working within their physical limits
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Overexertion Injuries
An injury that occurs in the course and scope of employment is covered by workers’ compensation, regardless of fault. It can be difficult to prove that the injury is a direct result of the work you do. Seek legal help from a St. Louis workmens comp lawyer to understand your legal rights. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free case evaluation.