On every workers’ compensation claim, a reason for the injury must be listed. Topping of the list of most frequently cited causes of workplace injury, is overexertion. In fact, non-fatal disabling injuries related to overexertion cost employers roughly $15 billion in workers’ compensation in 2013. For the purposes of workers’ compensation, overexertion can be defined as exerting yourself too much or working beyond your physical capabilities. Because overexertion is partially the fault of the worker, many workers may think that they would not qualify for workers’ compensation. This is untrue. In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance and workers still have the right to file a claim to receive compensation even if their injury was the result of overexertion. If you are a worker in Atlanta with any questions regarding overexertion and a workplace injury, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to speak about the specifics of your case.
Jobs With High Risk of OverexertionAlmost all workers have the potential for sustaining overexertion injuries. This is perhaps why, nearly 25 percent of workers’ compensation claims are related to overexertion in some way. However, the Department of Labor classifies certain workers as higher risk for injuries related to overexertion. Some of these jobs include:
- Construction – Consistently amongst the most dangerous industries, overexertion is easily one of the biggest problems for construction workers. Long hours and the need to move heavy materials in rain or shine means there’s a perpetual threat of overexertion to all workers.
- Health Care – Many healthcare workers, such as nurses, EMTs, and home health aides spend hours of their day lifting and moving people or objects around. These repetitive movements combined with long shifts mean overexertion injuries are prevalent in this field.
- Warehouse and Retail – Overexertion is also common amongst warehouse and retail workers who spend long hours in repetitive tasks, including moving objects on and off shelves or scanning inventory. Any worker that is lifting, carrying, or pushing objects could face an overexertion injury.
- Trucking – It may seem counterintuitive, but truck drivers who sit for long hours and move heavy objects are also prime targets for overexertion. Proper stretching and safety equipment can reduce the risk of serious injuries.
Common Injuries Related to OverexertionOverexertion may plague workers carrying out many different tasks and is often classified into subcategories related to lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing, or throwing objects. Sprains and strains are some of the most common types of injuries related to exertion. Other frequently cited injuries include:
- Shoulder and back injuries;
- Twisted ankles;
- Tendon and joint injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Leg or knee injuries; and