When you think of workplace injuries that result in claims for workers’ compensation, what comes to mind?
Broken bones may top your list, or possibly a back or neck injury. However, the primary cause of workplace injury is overexertion. What, exactly, does this mean?
Perhaps your job requires you to lift boxes for much of the day. First, you carry the boxes from the delivery area to shelves for storage. The boxes are fairly heavy, and the effort to place them on the shelves requires bending, reaching and twisting. This kind of activity can result in overexertion. Lifting, carrying, reaching and walking are all necessary activities in many other kinds of jobs, such as carpentry, roofing, nursing or even working as a mail carrier.
Repetitive motion injuries
Overexertion has much in common with repetitive motion disorders, which are also high on the list of conditions for which employees file workers’ compensation claims. Sometimes called repetitive stress injuries, this is a category that encompasses several issues that affect nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome has become a well-known injury among office workers who use a keyboard and mouse every day, but it can affect people who have jobs like yours that require repeated lifting, reaching or twisting.
In the state of Florida, employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees—five or more for farms and other agricultural businesses. The exception is construction. Companies in this industry must carry this kind of insurance even if there is only one employee. You are eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits as long as you qualify as an employee at the company where you sustained your injury, and the injury must have occurred while you were on the job. If you have developed an injury due to overexertion, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that help with your medical expenses and more as you focus on your recovery.