Most employers understand the importance of providing protective eyewear, back braces, personal fall prevention devices and hard hats to protect their employees from injury on the job. Studies show that employees can avoid many injuries if they use the appropriate safety gear and follow protocol for their own protection.
However, most lost work time does not result from flying debris, back injuries or even falling. Approximately one-third of all worker injuries are musculoskeletal disorders resulting from over exertion and repetitive strain.
My doctor says I have an MSD. Is it serious?
Surprisingly, most of these MSDs are preventable with proper ergonomics. If you feel pressure in your lower back when you sit all day, pain or numbness in your hands from using a computer, or a tearing sensation in your shoulder, you may be suffering from an MSD caused by strenuous or repetitive activity at work. Some examples of such injuries include:
- Trigger finger
- Rotator cuff injury in the shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Sciatica or other back injuries
Unfortunately, not every manager is willing to accommodate the ergonomic needs of employees, and this may have resulted in your injury. If you feel your supervisors do not fully understand the importance of ergonomics on the job, you may feel compelled to provide information about improvements that management can make to prevent further injuries to you and your co-workers.
Additionally, the sooner you receive treatment for your MSD, the less likely that the injury will become serious, requiring surgery or even resulting in permanent damage. Unfortunately, you may have already discovered how difficult it is to get your boss to take your complaints seriously.
I know I am injured, but no one believes me
Despite your pain and suffering, you may be having a hard time convincing your employer or workers’ compensation insurance company that you are truly injured. In fact, the insurance company may have already rejected your claim or attributed your complaint to some pre-existing condition. It can be frustrating to think that any treatment that could ease your suffering may be delayed while you fight for the help you deserve.
One step toward that help may be a conversation with an attorney who has helped many people like you. Such an attorney has access to expert medical opinions and specialists who will challenge the insurance company’s ruling and work to resolve your situation with the most positive outcome possible.