Back injuries are common among Missouri workers and are often caused by poor ergonomics.
Workplace ergonomics refers to the process of designing the workplace while having the worker in mind. The idea is to create a well-balanced environment that doesn’t put too much strain on the worker, and as a result, increase performance and productivity.
For instance, an element in workplace ergonomics is making sure workers can have an appropriate posture while working, which may, in practice, translate to making sure they have good chairs while working on their desks.
However, if your workplace ergonomics lead to back injuries, can you get worker’s comp for it?
Yes, These Injuries Are Generally Eligible
The notion that workplace ergonomics influence a worker’s health is not a new idea. In fact, NIOSH even has an entire program dedicated to helping workers identify risks and improve the staff working environment to prevent injuries, in particular back injuries.
As a result, your back injuries, which were caused by poor ergonomics, are generally eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Ideally, you’d just have to file a claim and wait for treatment.
Why You May Hit Some Bumps
Employees working at a desk are some of the most likely to experience back injuries, contrary to popular belief. People can spend hours on end sitting in the same position, and if their workstations are not properly set up in a way to ensure they have an adequate posture, back injuries are bound to happen.
The same goes for injuries caused by twists, turns, or lifting heavy objects – they are often directly influenced by poor ergonomics.
Such an injury doesn’t always appear in a blink of an eye. It’s sometimes the result of long-term exposure to this improper environment, which could lead to a few hicks in your worker’s comp process.
Specifically, the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for just any worker claiming their injuries resulted from the job, so in case there is no one event that leads to an injury, they will likely investigate.
This can be problematic for you because, for one thing, it can potentially delay your treatment. You cannot choose your own worker’s compensation doctor in Missouri, and if the insurance company isn’t 100% sure of your case, they likely won’t give you the green light to see the doctor until they are. Plus, it can end up in a denied claim if the injured worker doesn’t understand how to build a strong case.
What Should You Do?
It’s best to work with a St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer who can help you prove your back injuries have resulted from poor ergonomics. What this means exactly depends on each case, but it will usually consist of medical proof and expert testimonies that can link your injuries to your work environment.
Working with a lawyer can also speed up the compensation process and get you your much-needed medical treatment.
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