Traumatic workplace injuries, such as those from workplace violence or construction site falls, often make for compelling news stories. Falls are among the most common fatal workplace accidents, so it is understandable that workers know how to protect themselves from these hazards. In industries where these accidents are common, you may notice an emphasis on using personal protective equipment and fall prevention devices.
However, more common injuries are the result of repetitive motion, strain and other strenuous activities on the job. These types of injuries can be debilitating and require surgery, long-term medical care and therapy. The more workplace safety advocates study these injuries, the more effectively they develop methods of preventing them.
Protecting your back and neck
Your back and neck often carry the weight of your job. Whether you unload trucks or sit at a computer all day, the strain on your back can leave you in agonizing pain. Back injuries are among the most common injuries workers suffer, and if you work construction, you have a much higher chance of injuring your spine or neck.
Your employer should provide you with the appropriate ways to protect your back and neck from strain and injury, including forklifts, dollies and thorough training for the safest methods of lifting and moving objects without twisting or overreaching. You will also want to limit the amount of time you spend working overhead, since this puts an enormous strain on your neck and shoulders.
Protecting your knees and feet
Many people take their knees for granted until those knees start to ache or buckle. If your job requires you to squat or kneel, you are placing tremendous pressure on those joints. Wearing proper knee protection can allow you to remain on the job longer without facing knee surgery or debilitating pain.
The same is true for your feet. Modern work boots provide solid protection for your toes without being so heavy that they fatigue your legs. Without appropriate protection, you are at risk of injuring your feet from falling objects or other hazards.
While you may not think of any of these as traumatic injuries, the fact is that an injury resulting from workplace strain or repetitive motions can result in loss of mobility and lifelong pain. If you are experiencing such an injury, you may also be having trouble obtaining the benefits you deserve from workers' compensation. A California attorney can guide you in pursuing compensation for injuries from cumulative stress, even if the damage to your body occurred years ago.