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Overexertion Still Tops the List of Workplace Injuries

Mark E. Moreland, Attorney at Law April 18, 2019

Injuries on the job happen every day, but you may not realize exactly how often. Many people suffer from workplace injuries that can be debilitating and include a long, painful recovery.

While tragic falls and horrifying machinery accidents may make the news, the most common injury a worker may suffer is overexertion. This injury can affect employees in nearly every industry where physical activity is the norm, and it results in an average of 13 days of missed work each year. That number is more than 60% greater than days lost for all other injuries.

Are You at Risk of Injury?

Overexertion is more than just doing too much. You may feel you do more than your share of work every day at your Missouri job. When you overexert yourself, you perform an activity that is beyond your physical strength, resulting in injury. You may suffer a pulled muscle, herniated disk, torn tendon or even a heart attack. Some common examples of activities that may lead to overexertion include the following and others:

  • Lifting something that is too heavy

  • Pulling or pushing something that does not move when you expect it to

  • Turning or throwing something using an awkward or unnatural motion

  • Carrying an item that is too bulky or should have two or more people to move it

  • Trying to lift a heavy item over your head instead of using a lift

Most overexertion injuries, about 50%, involve the back since you may find yourself compensating for the extreme weight by using your back muscles. This type of injury is almost always preventable with proper training and equipment. However, overexertion can also occur from remaining in one position for a prolonged period, such as kneeling or bending. This can place your health and safety at risk.

Preventing Injuries

Avoiding overexertion can be as simple as assessing a job before you start it. You may be able to reduce the amount of strain by adjusting the load or changing the way you lift or move it. Taking breaks when you need them and staying hydrated is essential to avoiding injuries. Above all, adequate and continued training for any job is critical.

However, there is always the chance that you will suffer an injury, especially a common overexertion injury. Just because it is common does not mean it will not have a negative effect on your life. Ensuring you obtain the full and fair amount of workers’ comprehension is important to your recovery. You may find the assistance of a legal professional to be a great benefit to meeting your goals.