According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following occupations had the highest number of injuries in 2015: laborers / material handlers, heavy truck and tractor drivers, cleaners / janitors, nursing assistants, and general maintenance and repair workers. While some work-related injuries are specific to the occupation, others are common in most jobs.
Work accidents involving slips and falls, as well as improperly lifting excessively heavy objects, often result in serious and painful back injuries. A workplace injury that involves fractured vertebrae has the potential to cause long-term health problems for the worker. Vertebral fracture means that one or more bones in the spine have been broken, causing local or radiating pain. The area where the fracture occurred will be sore to the touch and visibly swollen, causing a noticeable lump in the spine. If the back injury is severe and complex, pinched nerves or paralysis may occur.
Work-related injuries that cause chronic lower back pain generally indicate mechanical dysfunction of some kind involving components of the spine. Mechanical aspects that contribute to acute or chronic back pain include:
Sprains / strains
Tearing or overstretching the soft tissue, muscles, or tendons in the back can cause strains or sprains. Sprains and strains can occur when you forcefully lift something too heavy or when you twist your back inappropriately while lifting something above your knees.
Herniated disc / bulging
The thick, flexible pads of tissue called intervertebral discs are found between the bony vertebrae that make up the spine. If a disc comes out of place because you were injured at work, it can stick out between the vertebrae and press against the sensitive spinal nerves. Symptoms of herniated disc pain include pain that radiates down the back of one leg (sciatica), numbness and tingling in the legs, and / or weakness in the feet and back.
Unrestrained objects that fall on a worker’s head commonly cause injuries in the construction or manufacturing industries. “Closed” head injuries do not perforate the skull; “Open” head injuries occur when something has broken through the skull and possibly injured the brain. Head injuries in the workplace often lead to contusions, bruises (bleeding in the brain), and concussions.
Although most people make a full recovery from mild or moderate head injury, the recovery time can be longer than for other workplace injuries. It is not unusual for workers with head injuries to rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills that they have no way of paying if their workers’ compensation claim is denied. In addition, the injuries leave them without income because they cannot work. This is the time to contact a work injury attorney who is adept at getting workers the compensation they deserve for workplace injuries.
Skeletal muscle injuries
Work-related musculoskeletal injuries encompass a variety of painful, sometimes debilitating conditions that affect the nerves, tendons, muscles, and joints. Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck strain, and thoracic outlet syndrome are some examples of common musculoskeletal injuries experienced by employees on the job. Doctors group musculoskeletal injuries into several categories: repetitive motion injuries, cervicobrachial occupational disorders, soft tissue disorders, and regional musculoskeletal disorders.
Health problems caused by workplace conditions
Employees in industries that require the use of harsh chemicals or heavy dust are susceptible to a variety of health problems that may not be apparent at first but could emerge years later or even after they have retired. Decades of exposure to irritating fumes and solvents without proper preventive measures can damage lungs, tissues, eyes, and even tumors in some cases. Any of these medical problems can be a viable cause for workers’ compensation, especially if the employer did not offer protection against these potential health hazards.
Have you been injured at work?
Schedule an appointment with us today
Make an appointment today: 210-342-2777
*Information obtained from: juanlaw.com