Musculoskeletal injury can range from sprained ankles to torn ligaments, and all of these injuries can limit an individual’s ability to perform their job. These injuries are often cumulative, but they can also occur following singular events. When individuals suffer a musculoskeletal injury, prompt and efficient treatment is essential for restoring range of motion and quality of life.
Understanding Musculoskeletal Injuries
Nationwide, musculoskeletal injuries result in nearly 70 million physician visits each year. This is on top of the nearly 130 million visits to outpatient medical centers, hospitals, and emergency rooms. Many individuals who suffer musculoskeletal injuries require physical therapy, time away from work, and in severe cases, surgical intervention to correct the damage.
Musculoskeletal injuries can include sprains, strains, and tears. These often occur when individuals are required to lift or move heavy machinery, inventory, etc. They can also occur following slips, trips, and falls. Most sprains and strains occur suddenly and following a single event. While tears can also occur suddenly, they often occur when ligaments are placed under repeated stress following the same type of movement.
Back pain and hernias are also common musculoskeletal injuries. While hernias generally occur following a single event, back pain is usually the result of cumulative stresses, such as repeated lifting. Back pain can also occur following prolonged periods of sitting in a chair. Individuals who suffer back pain may also experience carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis from years of typing away at poorly designed keyboards at their work station.
Work Conditions Are a Critical Factor
Work conditions play a significant role in the development of musculoskeletal injuries. Conditions where workers must manhandle heavy objects, crouch down, bend over, or sit for hours on end in an uncomfortable chair can cause these injuries. While many are caused by poor ergonomics, most are the result of serious safety violations and the failure to provide proper training and personal protective equipment.
Employers in Nevada have a duty to their employees that includes identifying potential hazards and protecting employees from harm. This includes providing proper training, proper equipment, and proper supervision. Employers must also track work-related injuries and take corrective action to prevent further injuries to their employees. When employers fail to protect their workers from musculoskeletal injuries, a workman’s comp attorney can pursue a claim on the behalf of the injured worker.