Underestimating Overexertion: The Pain and Consequences of Workplace Strain
An ethic that drives you to work hard and always push forward is commendable. It’s admirable to want to push yourself to improve at what you do. However, contrary to what some employers may say, it is possible to work too hard, especially in the construction business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number one leading cause of workplace injuries is overexertion. Overexertion occurs when you lift, carry, hold, or push beyond your physical capabilities. Too much strain on your muscles can lead to torn fibers, pinched nerves, and exhaustion; exhaustion can then, in turn, increase your risk for accidents.
Taking Time to Protect Yourself
It’s easy to lose yourself when immersed in work. This focused concentration is even more apparent when your job involves physical labor. Construction workers tend to have a goal-oriented mindset that working hard will get the project done faster. Although this mindset isn’t wrong, it can be dangerous if precautions aren’t taken. When working on a construction site, consider the following three ways you can avoid overexertion and yet still do your job to your fullest potential:
- Take a break. Don’t be ashamed to take breaks when you need them. Stopping to take a breather for 15 minutes is a lot better than taking a 15-day break because you overexerted yourself and got injured.
- Ask for help. You’re not Superman, and no one should expect you to be able to lift anything and everything. If an object is too heavy or cumbersome to move on your own, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for a team lift.
- Take advantage of safety equipment. Although it may not be as fast or as efficient as doing it yourself, transport equipment can prevent strains and overexertion. Use the proper equipment—dollies, hand trucks, forklifts and cranes—when large or heavy supplies need to be transported from one side of the construction site to the other.
Taking Time to Protect Your Rights
Overexertion injuries accounted for over $15 billion in costs to business in 2013, according to workplace injury statistics reported by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. These numbers mean one very important thing; no matter what your job—construction worker, health care employee, industrial worker—if your job requires physical exertion, you need to know your workers’ compensation rights.
Take some time now to learn more about the workers’ compensation process, as well as your role in it. This site is full of FREE articles and resources on key deadlines and advice on workers’ compensation. Arm yourself with information, and know your rights in the event of your own workplace injury!
For a one-on-one discussion about your personal claim, contact our office today to speak directly with attorney Steve Lee. With over 30 years’ worth of experience, he has the answers and insights you need to secure a successful workers’ comp pursuit.