When it comes to on the job injuries, knee injuries can be some of the most common. From construction workers, to nurses, people of many different professions are at risk for knee injuries. While some knee problems can be mild, other injuries may be more severe and require a long recovery process. So, we’re here to take a look at some of the most common workplace knee injuries.
Workplace Knee Injuries: Avoiding Incident
Meniscus injuries prove to be some of the most common on-the-job injuries. This injury can come from a serious accident, or just twisting your knee a certain way. It’s normally signaled by intense pain and a feeling that your knee is giving out. It can also trigger a lot of swelling, which may prevent your normal range of motion. In cases of severe meniscus tears, your doctor will want to proceed with surgery and physical therapy. However, compared to other knee injuries the recovery process for this tear is usually not long. In addition, most people experience a full recovery and have very few problems later on.
These types of issues take place in the ligaments that surround the left and ride sides of your knee. In most cases, these injuries occur because of an accident. You will most likely be able to feel it the moment you tear either your ACL, MCL, or PCL. Unlike a meniscus injury, these problems usually require months of recovery. In fact, sometimes an ACL tear can require reconstructive surgery.
In cases of workplace knee injuries, it’s so important to report your accident right away. The only way to diagnose a knee problem such as these is to have an MRI. This scan alone can be very costly. In addition, the doctor’s visits, cost of surgery, and physical therapy will be expensive. Therefore, you want to make sure to report your injury so that you can receive the proper coverage.
However, if your injury isn’t due to a specific accident, it’s still important to report the pain you are having. You never know when the daily demand of your job will lead to knee injuries. So, even though you haven’t experienced a specific accident, that doesn’t mean you haven’t injured your knee.
When it comes to on-the-job injuries, you don’t have to do something physically taxing to face them. In fact, many work injuries happen right inside of the office, or cubicle. Some of the more common office injuries come in the form of back, neck, and carpal tunnel injuries. These injuries vary greatly from injuries faced when working in, say, construction or a factory. This injuries typically occur because of long hours spent at a desk, hunched over a computer, and ignoring proper techniques for avoiding pain and injury. The fact of the matter is, there’s no real training when it comes to how to sit at your desk without pain. That’s where we come in. Below, you’ll find some methods for office ergonomics that can help prevent injury, and increase productivity.
Office Ergonomics: Prevent Office Space Injuries
One of the first places to begin office ergonomics is with your chair. Your chair supports your spine and sets the tone for how your back and neck will operate. Therefore, you want to make sure it offers firm support. If your chair is sinking in or giving, it may not be lending enough support. In addition, you want to adjust the height so your feet can touch the floor. Also, adjust the arm rests so your arm can rest comfortably by your sides. You want to be able to use proper posture while sitting at your desk.
Your Keyboard and Mouse
The next place you’ll want to implement office ergonomics is with your keyboard and mouse. These two little devices can be the cause of neck pain, arthritis, and carpal tunnel. So, you want to make sure you’re taking the steps to prevent these injuries. Begin by placing the keyboard within easy reach. Practice keeping your arms close to your body and your wrists out straight. In addition, make sure the keyboard is at a level equal to or slightly lower than the height of your elbows. You never want to bend your arm upwards to reach your keyboard or mouse. Also, try using shortcuts to reduce the amount of typing and clicking you must do with your hands.
Possibly the most important part of office ergonomics is your monitor. Looking at a computer screen can be bad for your neck and back. Try to adjust the monitor so that you are neither looking down or up. Instead, you want it to be directly at eye level. Also, make sure it’s directly behind your keyboard so your whole body is facing one direction. You don’t want to have to strain or twist to see your monitor. In addition, try to keep it about an arm’s length away so you’re not straining your eyes with it being too close or far away.
The key thing to understand is that worker’s injuries can look quite different, depending on the setting within which you work. Therefore, you’ll want to create your own safety protocols that fit the setting that you work in. By taking the time to observe potential injuries, you can create methods for intervention and prevention.
The days, weeks, and months, following a work injury can be extremely stressful. The process of a worker’s comp injury, from paperwork, appointments, and requirements, can make your days feel long. Not to mention, these things can bring worry over receiving those necessary benefits. Not to mention, recovery, and the feelings that come along with it. There’s no denying that when it comes to work injury stress, there are plenty of different ways that it can creep in. So, how do you cope with it? And what can you do to manage your feelings, and ease your mind?
Work Injury Stress: Tips for Coping
Talk to a Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Along with a work injury, comes a lot of financial stress and pressure. Your work injury likely will prevent you from being able to perform the responsibilities that are set forth by your position. For this reason, you’ll likely need some period of time spent away from your position. While, with a work injury, you should receive benefits it can be daunting to watch all of those expenses add up. Furthermore, if you notice that your employer is trying to deny the compensation you deserve in any capacity, you should speak with an attorney. While, in many cases, you won’t have to worry about your employer trying to get over on you— that is not always the case. So, with cases that seem to be headed in this direction, or any major injury case, you should speak with an attorney.
Educate yourself on the injury
Your doctors are knowledgeable, and there to answer the questions you have about your injury, and resulting issues that might arise. So, make a list of questions, make use of your time. After all, you’ll be spending quite a bit of time in the doctor’s office following an injury. Furthermore, do your own research from reliable sources. It’s easy to feel out of control when it comes to a work injury, being that you’re having to meet worker’s comp requirements. So, getting information is one way to reduce stress, and take control.
Build a Relationship With Your Doctor
This doctor is not the doctor you’re used to seeing. However, this is the doctor who will be getting up close and personal with your injury. So, build trust with that doctor. It can be easy to feel distrustful of a doctor you had no control over choosing. But, you have the chance to ask questions, take notes, and follow their recovery plan. You’ll be spending a lot of time with the doctor. So, finding ways to trust them and their process can make a big difference in how you feel overall.
Rely on the Support of Family and Friends
Since this can be such a difficult time, it’s important to reach out and accept help from others. Sometimes, allowing people to help us can be one of the hardest aspects of dealing with an injury. However, fighting against it will only add to your worries and increase your work injury stress. So, try to allow your family and friends to be the support system you need.
When it comes to our loved ones, we never want to see them in pain. Furthermore, when facing a work injury, you’ll often notice your loved ones feeling down, depressed, and feeling discouraged by the recovery process. Depending on the injury at the hand, recovery can take months. Those months can feel long and lonely, especially when you spend them mainly on your own. So, what can you do, as a loved one, to show support post-work injury? You’re willing to do anything to help, but it can often be difficult to know where to start…
How-To Show Support Post-Work Injury: Supporting Loved Ones
Spend Time Together
The one thing many people facing work injury will deal with is isolation. This is no one’s fault. After all, most everyone is going about business as usual. However, when you lose the routine of your daily life, and you’re going at it alone, depression can set in. So, take some time out to spend time with your loved one. The absolute best way to show support post-work injury, is to simply give your time and company.
Let them vent
There are a lot of feelings that come along with an injury of any kind, but especially one that alters your way of life. So, be there to listen. This person is likely feeling frustration, discouragement, fear, anger, and many many other emotions. The best thing you can do for them is listen and let them vent it out. There is nothing more therapeutic than to get it all out there, and have someone allow you to. It’s not that you need to say anything in particular, or fix the situation. Being there, listening, and being a shoulder to lean on is almost always enough.
Be there for them, but make yourself a priority to
You can do plenty to help the people you love, but self-care is also extremely important. Maybe you’re taking them to appointments, making meals, cleaning the house, and doing every single thing you can. But, sometimes you find that you’re irritated, short-tempered, and tired. So, take some time to yourself as well. You want to help, and you’re doing a great deal. But, your life and well-being is also a priority. Don’t cause yourself pain, or even an injury, by overexerting yourself. Your loved one will understand if you need to go home, take a shower, or catch up on homework, or so forth.
As we move towards the winter months, winter workplace accidents become much more likely to happen. You might not consider how the different times of year can increase or decrease your chances of getting hurt. But, with each season comes different elements to prepare for. So, we’re here to help. Below, we’re going to make sense of some of the most common winter workplace accidents, and steps you can take as employees (and employers) to keep yourself, and others, safe from danger. As we all know, accidents do happen. However, by practicing caution and care, we can reduce the number of incidents dramatically…
Winter Workplace Accidents: Common Incidents and Prevention
Shivers and Slips
If you work outside frequently, you know how hot and cold it can get depending on the time of year. Therefore, wearing appropriate dress can keep you from overheating, getting frostbite, and receiving other weather-related traumas. In the winter months, wear gloves and thick jackets. You want to be able to brave the elements if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time amongst them. Furthermore, if you’re in a work area, make sure to wear slip resistant shoes. When there’s snow on the ground, or water, you might find that there are more areas in and outside that can be easy to slip on. So, keep your eyes peeled, and also keep your feet planted on the ground. Good traction goes a long way in doing just that.
Keeping Floors and Ground Slip Resistant
As we mentioned above, tracking in snow and water can become potentially disastrous for employees and employers. For this reason, having mats in place is essential to eliminating a few of those accidents. By placing proper mats near entry and exit ways, you encourage employees to dry off their feet before entering the workspace. In doing so, you reduce the number of potential fall spots without even making too much of an effort. Furthermore, shovel walkways and slick spots. In taking the time to clear walkways, you can protect your employees and even customers. While ice is outside of your control, a customer will often make their accident your responsibility to care for.
Allow for a bit more down time
When you’re working outside in the cold, having a moment to knock off that chill can go a long way in preventing winter workplace injuries. When the space you’re working in is unheated, take a moment. Warm those bones for a moment, and then get back to work. Making your safety a priority, or the safety of your employees, is key to preventing accidents.
Remember that accidents do, and will, happen
While we can take plenty of steps to prevent accidents, there will still be an ‘oops’ every now and then. If you, or one of your employees, faces a winter workplace accident, it’s important that you treat it with care. File a claim, see a doctor, and take the time to heal properly. Every accident is different, but the chance for a full recovery is something we all hope to see. We wish you luck in treating an injury, and offer our services if you find that you may need them.
Depending on the conditions under which you work, you might find that you’re facing a handful of occupational hazards, or resulting injuries. While some may not be very serious, others can have a life long impact. If you work in factories, or construction sites, you might be exposed to loud noises on a daily basis. For this reason, among others, hearing loss can be a potential lifelong work injury that you receive. If you find yourself suffering from any degree of hearing loss as a result of the workplace, it might be a good idea to speak with an attorney about what actions you can take to compensate for your loss of quality of life.
Hearing Loss as a Work Injury
The state of North Carolina has some guidelines in place for how to deal with these cases. Like many other diseases and injuries, your hearing issues can be a direct result of your work environment. Therefore, employees may be able to receive workers comp for this. But there are some stipulations in these cases.
Total vs partial hearing loss. Permanent sensorineural loss of hearing in both ears would result in workers comp. In short, all that means is permanent deafness due to damage in the ear caused by exposure to a loud noise. In this case, an employees may receive up to 150 weeks of workers comp. That means around 2/3 of the employees weekly salary paid out for 150 weeks.
Partial hearing loss. In the case of partial hearing loss, the employer will only pay for any hearing lost while working at the company. For instance, most companies will ask a new employer to take a hearing test before beginning work. Therefore, they will compare the pre-test to a current test.
Loss in both ears. In order to receive workers comp, an employee must suffer loss in both ears. If an employee only experiences a loss of hearing in one ear, then he will not be eligible for workers comp.
Like many other injuries, hearing loss can leave you eligible for workers comp. However, having an attorney in place can help you make that determination. We wish you luck in facing this issue, and offer our condolences for you loss of quality of life.