Many workers in the Lakeland area are not aware they may receive workers’ compensation benefits when they hurt themselves in accidents on the job. An even greater number of employees do not realize workers’ compensation does not just encompass physical injuries, it also covers certain mental health issues that arise from a related physical injury. The workplace can affect employee mental health and have a significant impact on worker safety. Workers who suffer extreme psychological changes as a result of a physical injury that interferes with their daily lives may receive workers’ compensation benefits for their mental duress.
Stressful environments that include long work hours, heavy workloads, discrimination, violence and poor management have a significant impact on employee safety and health. Some workers are more susceptible to the effects of working in stressful environments and unexpectedly develop severe psychological responses in the form of stress, anxiety and depression that increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
The challenge of proving mental health claims
Workers who develop mental health ailments and apply for workers’ compensation benefits often experience an uphill battle. Employers and their insurers often deny and reduce benefit claims. It is imperative for workers to document all incidents of physical and mental symptoms they experience from workplace accidents. The inclusion of witness information and accident/incident reports can streamline the claims process and aid in the treatment and recovery process.
The law requires employers to take certain measures to protect employee health. Eliminating toxic work cultures, improving management processes, maintaining a safe and hazard-free site, and providing employee health and well-being support services are a few changes that help minimize the impact of stress on workers and reduce the occurrence of accidents on the job. Employees who suffer from mental and physical ailments that stem from their jobs should notify their employers of their conditions, seek out proper treatment and file for workers’ compensation benefits.