Safety authorities say a significant percentage of workplace injuries suffered nationwide, including in California, are caused by overexertion. In fact, they say that this is the primary contributor of costs for workers’ compensation. Thousands of people miss workdays due to overexertion every year.
Workers may not realize that many of their aches and pains are soft tissue, ergonomic injuries. Nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, spinal discs and cartilage damage are all ergonomic injuries. Workers in offices, on assembly lines and any other environment can be victims of these injuries. Causes include improper techniques for lifting, lowering and placing objects, excessive reaching and stretching, working in awkward body positions, repetitive motions, the need to use excessive force and more.
Workers can prevent ergonomic injuries by exercising regularly, planning lifts before picking up something that is heavy or awkwardly shaped and taking frequent breaks from jobs that entail repetitive motions. Ergonomic planning can adjust workstations to fit the employees. Advisers suggest any swelling, pain, tenderness, tingling, numbness and loss of strength in arms, back or legs should be reported to a physician as soon as it starts because delays can result in long-term health problems.
The California workers’ compensation insurance program covers ergonomic injuries. However, some victims may find it challenging to prove their conditions to be work-related. Fortunately, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide the necessary assistance with the complicated legal and administrative steps of filing benefits claims. Along with medical expenses, the benefits will cover a percentage of lost wages for those who missed workdays due to their injuries.