According to data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, workers employed in the fields of maintenance, construction, or natural resources have some of the highest levels of absence from work due to injury. However, work-related orthopedic injuries could apply to all types of workers, ranging from agricultural laborers to office staff working a nine-to-five desk job. Orthopedic injuries may include repetitive motion injuries, damaged joints, ligaments or tendons, or even a bone fracture. Everything from a “bad back” to joint damage in the hands due to keyboarding without ergonomic support falls under the umbrella of orthopedic injury—and all of these injuries should be taken seriously.
People who work in warehouses doing heavy lifting or who work in shipping and receiving could easily be injured by a heavy falling object—or from lifting heavy objects without the correct support. However, heavy lifting is far from the only thing that can cause damage to the musculoskeletal structure of a worker. Sitting in a non-ergonomic chair can cause backaches and spinal damage, and repetitive motions like typing or using a mouse without the proper ergonomic supports can damage wrists and digits.
If you are too hurt to perform your job duties, you may be eligible to file for temporary disability while you recover from your injuries. You could also be declared partially disabled and be assigned lighter-duty tasks to perform at work until your condition improves or even permanently. If your employer refuses to alter your job duties to better suit your post-injury abilities, you may want to contact local Los Angeles orthopedic injury attorneys to discuss possible legal action.
Some injured workers will find themselves unable to go back to their old job duties, and their employer may assign them to a new set of job duties that are compatible with the disability caused by their injuries. However, some employers may try to pressure you into returning to work early or returning to your old job duties before you are physically ready—and they could be held liable for doing so.
When you return to work after sustaining an orthopedic injury, be careful and listen to your body. If one of your job duties calls for physical exertion that you don’t currently feel capable of, don’t push yourself—it could lead to worsening your existing injury or creating a new one. Talk to your employer about your concerns about your changed work abilities and discuss your concerns about your potential for re-injury.
If you have suffered an orthopedic injury while on the job, you may want to explore your legal rights. Depending on the extent of the injury and the amount of work you have had to miss due to the injuries you sustained, you may benefit from a free consultation with Los Angeles orthopedic injury attorneys Kropach and Kropach. The legal experts at Kropach and Kropach can help you find out what compensation you may be awarded under workers compensation law, so you can heal from your injuries with the peace of mind that comes of knowing you won’t run of money to pay the bills while you recuperate.