People in Kentucky are hard workers who take a deep sense of pride in their labor. This defining feature sets workers here apart from everywhere else. Unfortunately, your work ethic could be putting you at risk for an injury.
Some employers ignore the safety and well-being of their workers, choosing instead to push their most dedicated employees even harder. As someone with a strong work ethic, you probably feel tempted to go along with your boss' requests to just work a little harder and a little longer, even though doing so can lead to overexertion.
What is overexertion?
Overexertion happens when you put too much pressure or strain on your body. It is the second most common injury that people between the ages of 25 and 64 cite when seeking an emergency room. Kids are not immune either, as heavy backpacks and poor posture make overexertion the third most common emergency room injury for children under 10.
In the workplace, overexertion accounts for 35 percent of all injuries. At approximately $15 billion in 2012, these injuries also make up 25 percent of workers' compensation spending -- the largest share. Employers also reported that overexertion is responsible for the greatest number of missed workdays. In 2012, 322,000 had to miss work for overexertion.
How do I know if I'm at risk?
Anyone can suffer an overexertion injury at any time. According to data from 2014, the following industries have, in descending order, the greatest number of these types of injuries:
- Government agencies
- Education and health services
- Transportation and warehousing
- Wholesale Trade
If your job involves lots of lifting and lowering, pushing and pulling, or reaching and stretching, you are at risk for overexertion. Do you perform tasks with repetitive motions, stand or sit for long periods of time or work in extreme temperatures? These can also lead to overexertion.
It is not all in your head
Overexertion puts a real, physical toll on your body. It can cause muscle injuries, nerve damage and even hurt spinal discs. There are the financial damages you also have to consider. If you cannot work, you are not earning a paycheck.
Workers' compensation benefits are essential for Kentucky workers hurt while on the job. If you suffered an overexertion injury, these benefits can provide temporary financial compensation, including compensation for medical bills and lost wages.