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    Archive for the ‘Workplace Injuries’ Category

    Trench Collapses, Excavation Accidents and How to Prevent Them

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHAs) regulations regarding trenching and excavations have made getting rid of potential and actual trench and excavation hazards on construction sites a top priority. Trench collapses and subsequent cave-ins pose a great risk to trench workers’ lives. That said, it is important for workers to know and understand their rights under the law.

    Some typical ways to prevent cave-ins include:

    • Sloping or benching trench walls
    • Shoring trench walls with supports
    • Shielding trench walls with trench boxes

    Employers should also provide safe ways to enter and exit. Additionally, all workers should be on constant lookout for hazardous materials or leaks. And if there’s ever any question or concern, NEVER enter a trench unless and until it has been properly inspected.

    There are other hazards related to trenching and excavations that workers need to know about before beginning any construction project. For instance, the atmosphere itself may be a health hazard for workers. OSHA requires testing for all excavations that are more than four feet deep, as well as in situations where oxygen levels may be low or other hazardous atmospheric conditions may exist. If this safety step is skipped, workers could be exposed to toxic chemicals or even worse — they could suffocate.

    Further, heavy machines, trucks, backhoes, etc. are typically used on excavation and trenching sites. Employers have an obligation to ensure all workers on the project know how to properly use such equipment, as improper use could result in serious and severe injuries.

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, a Lancaster workplace accident attorney can help you with your workers’ comp claims and review the circumstances surrounding the trench collapse and/or excavation accident. as well as advise on other potential legal claims you may have. We understand the laws and strategies needed for such cases and will use that to help you establish your claim.

    Is There a Way to Prevent Trench and Excavation Accidents?

    Construction site managers and workers can maximize their safety by ensuring the following has occurred:

    • Ensure proper protection is in place. To prevent workers from being injured in trenching and excavation incidents, it is imperative to have appropriate protective systems in place. As noted above, when such systems do not exist, workers are at a greater risk for injuries such as being crushed, toxic exposure and suffocation.
    • Make sure the site is prepared appropriately. Excavations areas should be inspected prior to any work being done, as well as ongoing during the project. Someone with adequate competence and training in soil analysis should be used when preparing the worksite.
    • Put equipment and work materials in their proper place. Excavation materials and work-related equipment can cause severe injuries to workers if they are put too close to the trench. That said, employers should be sure that all work materials and equipment are placed at least two feet away.
    • All access and exit areas should be made as safe as possible. Site workers typically use ramps and other equipment to access and exit trenches. When such equipment is not placed in an appropriate area or is left unmaintained, workers may fall and be subjected to all types of serious injuries.

    Learn More About Workers’ Comp Claims From a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney

    If you have been injured at work because of a trench or excavation accident, let a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Work-Related Injuries: Exercises for Back Pain Relief

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of more than 1 million workers, back injuries account for nearly 20 percent of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Only the common cold accounts for more lost days of work. The leading causes of work-related back injuries include exerting too much force on your back, repetition of certain movements, especially those that involve twisting or rotating your spine, and inactivity. 

    Safe lifting and load-carrying techniques are essential to preventing back injuries in the workplace. Unfortunately, most workers do not consistently use these back safety techniques, placing themselves at significant risk. Back injuries are actually easily preventable with care and exercise. The most common types of job-related back injuries are:

    • Lower back strains and sprains
    • Bulging or slipped discs
    • Pinched nerves
    • Fractured vertebrae
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Strains
    • Sprains
    • Herniated discs

    Still, if you have suffered a work-related back injury in Pennsylvania, let the Lancaster hurt at work attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC help you recover the just compensation to which you’re entitled.

    Back Pain Exercises

    There are a variety of exercises you can perform to strengthen your back and prevent work-related back injuries. Some of these include:

    • Lying Lateral Leg Lifts. Lying lateral leg lifts helps work your hip abductor muscles, which support the pelvis and help reduce strain on the back. Keeping these muscles strong helps you maintain your balance and allow more mobility.
    • Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretches. These exercises help relieve pain, work the core muscles, and strengthen the lower back.
    • Lower Back Rotational Stretches. A lower back rotational stretch can help you relieve tension in your lower back and your trunk. It gently works the core to improve stability.
    • Bridges. Bridges strengthen the gluteus maximus, which is the large buttocks muscle. You engage this muscle when you move your hips, especially when you bend into a squat. The gluteus maximus is among the most important muscles in your body, and keeping it strong can help you support your lower back.
    • Draw-In Exercises. The draw-in maneuver works the transversus abdominis, which is the broad paired muscular sheet found on the lateral sides of the abdominal wall. This muscle is on the front and side of the abdomen, stabilizing the spine and lower back region.
    • Knee-to-Chest Stretches. Knee-to-chest stretch helps elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.
    • Pelvic Tilts. Pelvic tilt exercises help release tight back muscles and keep them flexible.

    Contact the Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers for More information on Back Injuries

    Back injuries are far too common in the workplace, even though they’re generally preventable with proper safety measures and exercise. Nonetheless, when they do happen, they can result in significant pain with far-reaching consequences. If you’ve suffered from a back injury as a result of a work-related accident, contact the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Tips for Preventing Workplace Injuries

    Workplace injuries are far too common, considering how preventable most of them are. Throughout the day, some workers think about things that have nothing to do with work, such as what they’re doing after work, how many hours they have left to work that day, their weekend plans, or, quite commonly, how they’re not getting paid enough in this economy. But that’s just human nature.

    If you have been injured or suffered illness on the job in Pennsylvania, let the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC help you recover what you’re entitled to under Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws.

    Common Workplace Injuries

    Both employers and employees have a vested interest in preventing workplace injuries. To accomplish this, it’s good to know what to look out for. Some of the most common workplace injuries/illnesses include:

    • Slips, trips, and falls
    • Falling objects 
    • Repetitive strain injuries from repetitive motions 
    • Crashes and collisions 
    • Cuts and lacerations
    • Strained muscles
    • Mental trauma like anxiety or depression

    How to Avoid Common Workplace Injuries

    The best way to avoid the costs and resources necessary to deal with workplace injuries is to avoid them altogether. Some simple steps you can take to prevent workplace injuries include:

    • Remain Alert. Stay alert while you’re performing your job duties so that you can increase your productivity and avoid being hurt or causing harm to others.
    • Be an Active Listener. Listen and participate in emergency drills so that you’ll instinctively know how to act in the event of an actual emergency.
    • Follow the Safety Program. Safety programs at your workplace are implemented for a reason, and that is to keep you and your co-workers safe. Adherence to safety programs is almost always mandatory.
    • Be Aware. Be aware of possible causes of accidents so that management can address these issues and prevent injuries before they have a chance of actually happening.
    • Communicate. Actively communicate with your supervisor about the possible risks inherent in certain tasks if you feel they may be dangerous.
    • Know Your Limitations. You may enjoy the challenge of a particular job that you’re unfamiliar with, but taking a high-risk position that you haven’t been trained for is quite dangerous to yourself and others.
    • Observe the Post Signs. Safety awareness signs are often posted in the workplace to help prevent injuries. Don’t simply ignore them.
    • Be Safe Rather Than Sorry. Don’t do anything that puts your safety and the safety of others at risk, even if others may scoff. It’s better to appear timid and safe than reckless and injured.
    • Adhere to the Dress Code. Dress codes in the workplace are often as much about safety as they are about professional appearance. Always wear the appropriate safety uniform and other required protective equipment when you’re working for your own safety as much as anything.
    • Ask Questions. When you are unsure about how to proceed concerning some task, ask questions until you understand.

    Contact the Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers for More Information About Avoiding Workplace Injuries

    Injuries at work are, to a certain extent, unavoidable. However, they can be drastically reduced in terms of numbers and seriousness by following the workplace safety tips described above. If you’ve been injured at work, contact the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC for a same-day response.

    About Workplace-Related Mental Injuries

    Although the Workers’ Compensation Act language indicates that psychological or mental work injuries are compensable, different states interpret the language differently — some more strictly than others. In the strict interpretation states, mental injuries like stress and anxiety are not compensated for. However, Pennsylvania is more progressive than many other states regarding mental injury claims. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry describes when and what type of mental injuries are compensable under Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp laws.

    If you have suffered a mental injury on the job in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you recover your rightful financial compensation.

    Mental Injury Claims in Pennsylvania

    If you have suffered a work-related mental injury in Pennsylvania, your claim will likely be categorized as follows: 

    • Physical-Mental Injury: A mental injury that is a result of a physical event is known as a physical-mental injury. For example, if you have suffered a work-related injury caused by using a particular piece of machinery, using that machinery again may create anxiety or fear to the extent that you cannot effectively do your job.
    • Mental-Physical Injury: Mental distress or anxiety can also result in physical injuries. For example, If there is an aspect of your job that is so important that failure to perform it would result in termination, the resulting anxiety and stress may affect you physically in the form of, for example, severe or migraine headaches, ulcers, or even heart attacks.
    • Mental-Mental Injury: Pennsylvania is one of the more progressive states that recognizes mental-mental injuries for worker’s compensation purposes. A mental-mental injury is an injury that develops due to some psychological trauma experienced in the workplace. For example, say the market where you work was robbed or there was a shooting incident or an explosion that occurred at your workplace. These types of incidents can cause serious anxiety or depression, especially if you feel that your life has been endangered.

    Who Can Claim Mental Injury in Pennsylvania?

    In Pennsylvania, any individual or business employing more than one person is required to participate in the Pennsylvania workers’ comp system. So, most workers are eligible for mental injury claims.

    However, unless there is a physical injury that directly causes a mental injury, injured workers may be required to prove that the mental injury resulted from an “abnormal” working condition. This may be difficult to prove, and you’ll need the help of a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC to maximize your chances of recovering compensation in these types of difficult situations. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of mental illnesses may be hard to detect, but their effect on workers can be just as serious as physical injuries.

    Let a Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer Help With Your Mental Injury Claim in Pennsylvania

    Mental injuries can be every bit as serious as physical injuries. Nonetheless, they can be problematic if workers’ comp claims for these injuries are challenged. If you’ve suffered any type of mental injury at work, contact a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for a same-day response.

    About Work-Related Illnesses

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “an ‘occupational disease’ is any disease contracted primarily as a result of…exposure to risk factors arising from work activity. ‘Work-related diseases’ have multiple causes, where factors in the work environment may play a role, together with other risk factors, in the development of such diseases.”

    Discussion of workers’ comp issues revolves around work-related injuries, but work-related illnesses can be just as dangerous and arguably more damaging in the long run. Furthermore, work-related illnesses can be harder to prove than a bodily injury claim. This is why it is a good idea to contact a Lancaster workers’ comp attorney for a free case evaluation. If you have what you suspect may be a work-related illness, Vanasse Law LLC can help.

    What Are Some Common Work-Related Illnesses?

    Some common work-related illnesses include:

    • Respiratory illness
    • Black lung disease
    • Rotator cuff syndrome
    • Carpal tunnel
    • Bursitis
    • Tendinitis
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Rotator cuff injuries
    • Stress-related mental health disorders
    • Various types of cancer, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.

    How Do I Prove a Work-Related Illness?

    The main obstacle facing work-related illnesses is that for any particular illness or condition, you have to show it is indeed “work-related.” In other words, you have to show a link between the illness or your job. For example, black lung disease is caused by inhaling coal dust over a long period of time. 

    If you are a miner working for decades in a coal mine, there is little doubt that your work caused black lung disease. However, if you work in an office building a block or so down the road, showing the link can start to become more difficult.

    Furthermore, unlike an injury, there is typically not a single “triggering event” that leads to a work-related illness. The illness may not develop into noticeable symptoms for months, years, or even decades after exposure to an illness-causing toxin.  This makes it even more difficult to show a clear link between the job and the illness.

    This difficult situation becomes even more difficult if exposure to some toxin at work merely exacerbated a pre-existing illness, as it is not only difficult to establish the link between work and the illness, but you also have to be able to show how much of the illness was pre-existing, and how much was compounded by your exposure at work.

    Contact a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for Help With Your Job-Related Illness

    Despite these challenges, there is good news. The Lancaster job injury attorneys Vanasse Law LLC are experienced in this area. If you have suffered a work-related illness, let us help. Handling workers’ comp claims is all we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you examine your legal options, which may include third-party claims, and guide you through the claims process.

    Let us help. Contact us online. You will receive a same-day response.

    A Brief Look at Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act

    As people all across the world are staying at home to try and slow down the spread of COVID-19, first responders and other essential workers who are manning the frontlines do not have that option. They risk exposure to COVID-19 every day as they provide essential services for their communities.

    If you or a loved one have contracted the virus through their essential work, let a Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you explore your possible options, including workers’ comp and Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act. 

    Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act

    Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act (HLA) protects various types of employees in Pennsylvania if they become sick or injured at work. This protection supplements Workers’ Compensation insurance, providing additional financial support for employees diagnosed with COVID-19 and other temporarily debilitating conditions.

    The HLA provides a full tax-free weekly salary without overtime for certain types of employees in Pennsylvania. The HLA also covers medical expenses related to any work-related injury or occupational illness suffered while performing official employment duties.

    Who is Covered by the HLA?

    The HLA covers municipal employees in law enforcement and firefighting. This includes the following types of job classifications:

    • State, County, Township, and City Police Officers and Firemen
    • Drug Enforcement Agents
    • Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs
    • Liquor Control Board Enforcement Officers and Investigators
    • Correctional Employees with Principal Duties of Care, Custody, and Control of Inmates
    • Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Public Welfare
    • Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Corrections
    • Members of Delaware River Port Authority Police
    • Special Agents of the Office of Attorney General

    What Types of Illnesses are Covered by the HLA?

    The title “Heart and Lung Act” is not entirely accurate, as the HLA covers many types of illnesses and injuries. In fact, the HLA covers any injuries and illnesses that occur “within the course and scope of employment” for all qualified Pennsylvania employees. 

    Furthermore, certain groups of employees in Pennsylvania may be granted a presumption that COVID-19 is an “occupational disease” for their profession under certain provisions of the workers’ comp law. Nonetheless, while the HLA covers temporary illnesses or injuries, including COVID-19, permanent disabilities are not covered.

    Contact a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

    Both the workers’ comp laws and the HLA are complicated pieces of legislation. If you are working during the pandemic and may be exposed to COVID-19, it is important that you understand your rights under workers’ compensation law and potentially the HLA. 

    A Lancaster workers’ comp attorney at Vanasse Law LLC will help you understand the current state of the law regarding workers’ comp and the HLA, explore your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.

    Will Workers’ Compensation Cover COVID-19? A Lancaster Job Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Claim

    Workers’ compensation law is designed to compensate employees who have been hurt at work. But what if you contract COVID-19 at work? Can you file a workers’ compensation claim? This issue is complex and rapidly evolving.

    If you have contracted or fear you may contract COVID-19 from work, let a Lancaster job accident lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you explore your possible options. 

    COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Issues

    Although many workers’ compensation issues are the same, the rules can vary from state to state. Aside from protecting employees, workers’ compensation insurance is also designed to benefit employers by providing coverage with predictable payments and reduced legal costs.

    Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for state legislatures across the country. One of the most challenging questions is: Does workers’ compensation insurance cover employees who have contracted the disease?

    Naturally, the answer is complicated. Generally, workers’ compensation insurance does not cover routine community-spread illnesses, such as a cold or the flu. This is because they usually cannot be directly tied to the workplace. Some states have made exceptions for employees who have developed chronic illnesses, such as cancer, resulting from repeated exposure to toxic or carcinogenic materials.

    However, it is unclear if COVID-19 illnesses fall into the former or the latter category. The unique issue presented by COVID-19 is that it presents a circumstance in which many jobs that have not historically been considered hazardous have suddenly become very dangerous for employees. Essential business employees, such as transit operators, health care workers, and grocery store workers are at a high risk of exposure to the virus while at work. But the more hazardous working conditions do not guarantee that a COVID-19 infection would be covered under workers’ compensation in most states.

    Pennsylvania’s Response

    Expanding workers’ compensation benefits appears to be high on the agenda in several states, usually specifically for first responders. An approach adopted by many states is to amend state policy so that COVID-19 infections in certain types of employees are presumed to be work-related and covered under workers’ compensation, thereby placing the burden to establish that the infection was not work-related on the employer and insurer. This burden-shifting technique makes it much easier for those employees to file successful claims.

    A bill in Pennsylvania seeks to create a grant program for fire companies and emergency medical services companies to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Contact a Lancaster Job Accident Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

    Do not hesitate. If you are working during the pandemic and may be exposed to COVID-19, it is critical for you to understand your rights under workers’ compensation law. Workers’ compensation law can be complicated and difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to unsettled issues like COVID-19 coverage. 

    A Lancaster job accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC will help you understand the current state of the law, examine your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.

    Have You Been Hurt at Work and Offered Light-Duty Work? Our Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers Handle Workers’ Comp Claims

    Workers’ compensation is a self-explanatory expression; in other words, workers’ compensation law is designed to compensate employees who have been hurt at work. 

    One particular aspect of workers’ compensation law concerns the situation in which an employee who has been hurt at work, after some time in rehabilitation for his or her injuries, obtains permission from the doctors to return to work with restrictions. In this case, he or she may be offered what is known as “light-duty” work. However, there is the risk that the employer may be asking the injured employee to perform duties that are beyond your doctors’ restrictions.

    If you have been hurt at work, this is just one of many potential issues you’re facing, some of which are complicated. Therefore, you should immediately call the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you navigate this difficult time. 

    Light-Duty Work

    Light-duty work, sometimes known as modified-duty work, can be simply defined as work that is physically, or even mentally, less demanding than your typical job duties. Therefore, your employer will either offer you other types of work or alter your current work duties to fit within the restrictions placed upon you by your doctors.

    If your employer cannot or will not alter your current duties, they may ask you to perform altogether new tasks that require less physical or mental challenges. Some of these new types of duties may include:

    • Performing basic office tasks
    • Performing administrative tasks
    • Taking inventory
    • Reporting on job sites
    • Monitoring surveillance cameras
    • Performing other types of security monitoring or security tasks
    • Performing machinery and/or equipment light maintenance
    • Supervising other employees
    • Training new employees
    • Organizing files
    • Other types of filing
    • Handling office reception for incoming customers or vendors
    • Answering phones
    • Inspecting fire extinguishers
    • Replenishing first aid cabinets
    • Performing simple assembly
    • Operating a forklift
    • Driving a company vehicle and running office errands
    • Sorting and delivering mail
    • Ordering supplies
    • Shipping, labeling, and wrapping

    Light-duty work may also include working your typical job, but at a slower pace, or working your regular job with specific limitations.

    Challenges of Light-Duty Work

    As mentioned above, when it comes to light-duty work, there is a risk that your manager or supervisor will either directly, by requiring you, or indirectly, by passive-aggressive tactics (such as “well, if you don’t want to work….”), expect you to resume your pre-injury duties before your doctor has approved such an increased workload. 

    Many employees will comply out of fear of losing bonuses, other types of discretionary benefits, or even their job in such situations. However, the risk is that prematurely resuming heavier duties will result in an injury setback or additional injuries, and, as discussed below, employers are not allowed to take any adverse action against you for claiming your workers’ compensation benefits.

    Employees who find themselves in this position should consult with their doctors first, and contact the Lancaster hurt at work attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC if your doctors cannot help you resolve the issue. Your long-term health is your most important consideration, and the team at Vanasse Law LLC can help you protect your rights.

    In a related situation, some employees, especially type-A personality employees, may decide on their own to return to normal work duties too early. After all, some of the light-duty work, as listed above, can become tedious and boring rather quickly. However, you must follow your doctors’ recommendations precisely. Again, the risk of additional injury is simply too significant.

    Other Light-Duty Work Issues

    Employees who have been injured on the job and offered light-duty work face issues other than the critical issue of resuming regular work duties.

    Light-Duty Work Pay

    Although the law varies from state to state, salaried employees are generally entitled to receive their usual salary while working under light-duty work restrictions. Hourly-wage employees are typically paid based upon the number of hours worked while on light duty.

    Light-Duty Work Hourly Wages

    However, when an hourly wage employee accepts light-duty work, the employee will generally be paid less than what they earned from their former duties. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is designed to pay the difference. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers may deny having any light-duty work available, which means they do not have to pay either wages or workers’ compensation benefits. If you suspect this is the case regarding your employer, you should contact the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you protect your rights.

    Original Job Reinstatement

    Generally, an employer cannot take adverse action to penalize an employee for taking advantage of any workers’ compensation benefits. This includes denying employees the right to return to their original jobs once they have sufficiently recovered from their injuries and received the green light from their doctors to return to their pre-injury jobs.

    Refusal of Light-Duty Work

    Generally, an employee has the right to refuse an offer of light-duty work if the employee’s health care provider has not authorized it. If the doctors have cleared an employee to return with light-duty work restrictions, a refusal to do so by the employee could result in the loss of workers’ compensation benefits.

    Employer’s Duty to Offer Light-Duty Work

    Generally, employers are not obligated to offer light-duty work to employees seeking to return after a work-related injury. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, which vary from state to state.

    Contact the Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

    Workers’ compensation law can be complicated and difficult to navigate on your own, but the laws are designed to protect your rights as an employee. Furthermore, workers’ compensation claims may not be the only option if you have been injured at work. The Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC will help you explore all of your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf during this difficult time. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.

    A Brief Look at Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Psychological Injuries

    We all know that life in general can be stressful, but add to it issues concerning finances, family wellness and work stability, and things may seem to be unbearable at times. As workers’ compensation attorneys in Pennsylvania, we often hear from clients who have admitted to struggling with all types of injuries that are physical in nature. However, there are times when the workplace is the breeding ground for a variety of psychological stressors as well. It’s no secret that a job can be one of the highest causes of stress in one’s life. If you believe that your work-related stress has become too much for you to deal with, the Commonwealth’s workers’ compensation system provides for mental injuries in certain instances. Contact our Lancaster job accident lawyer today for more details.

    What is a Mental Injury Claim?

    Although mental injury claims can be complicated, a skilled attorney can review your information and help determine if you possibly qualify for benefits based on your psychological injuries. Under Pennsylvania’s system, your claim will likely fall under one of three types of mental injuries.

    Physical/Mental Injuries

    You may have sustained a mental injury due to a physical event or trauma at work. For example, if you suffered an injury at work while using heavy equipment, returning to the job and using that same piece of equipment may lead to a level of fear and/or anxiety that makes it hard for you to properly perform your job duties.

    Mental/Physical Injuries

    If you work at a job where you must perform your duties correctly or risk termination, the stress and worry associated with the position could harm you physically. Potential outcomes from this type of mental stress can be ulcers, serious migraines or even heart attacks.

    Mental/Mental Injuries

    While many states do not recognize mental/mental injuries, Pennsylvania does. Such injuries tend to develop from psychological trauma that occurred at work. A good example is a bank robbery. If you work at a bank, and your bank is robbed, such trauma can be devastating to your psyche — even more so if you were specifically held at gunpoint and forced to perform various acts during the robbery. Workplace robberies, active shooter incidents, on-the-job explosions — all of these can lead to anxiety and/or depression if you believed your life was at risk.

    Common Causes of Mental Stress and Injuries

    There are numerous issues that can lead to workplace stress and injury, including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Concerns Over Job Insecurity: Given the possibility of company mergers, downsizing and organizational restructuring, it is not surprising that many workers throughout Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the US are feeling mentally stressed. Studies have shown that such insecurity takes a greater toll on workers’ physical and mental health than being out of work completely. Why? Because individuals dealing with job insecurity are often concerned about caring for and supporting their families and maintaining their households. Workers in such situations are also worried about being let go without sufficient notice, and this type of stress can keep an employee in a consistent state of unrest.
    • Heavy Workloads: No matter the industry in which you work, employers typically seek to get the most out of their employees. Unfilled job vacancies, employee illnesses or overall economic pressures may require individuals to work twice or three times as hard under such conditions. For the most part, employees can deal with this on a short-term basis; however, if the high work levels continue for extended periods of time, it can result in employees experiencing depression and anxiety, problems sleeping and poor job performance. Certain companies may also set unreasonably high expectations or goals for their workers, which can result in feelings of inadequacy and stress over their own specific accomplishments.
    • Shift Work: As our Lancaster job accident lawyer recently discussed, working various shifts can have a number of physical and mental effects on individuals. Working various hours that differ from most other workers can also be quite frustrating, as night workers may become psychologically stressed as a result of missing important social events or crucial family functions.
    • On-the-Job Bullying and Harassment: Children are not the only people who are subjected to bullies and harassing behavior. Adult employees often face these challenges in the workplace too. Some workers experience bullying from their supervisors, bosses and/or co-workers such that it leads to psychological injuries in the worker. Bullying can take several forms, including physical, psychological, social and verbal. Sexual harassment can also be a major issue for employees, particularly if the harassment is done by a supervisor or employer. Unfortunately, many workers become afraid to report such harassment, as they fear losing their jobs. So they suffer alone in silence.
    • Customer Service Positions: Undoubtedly, any worker who has to deal with customers on a regular basis is quite aware of how providing quality customer service can be a stressful job. After all, interactions with difficult and angry customers is all part of the job, right? It is important for such workers to be aware that they can still experience stress, even after a mad customer finally calms down and leaves the situation. Additionally, it is not uncommon for workers to maintain certain stress levels long after an angry customer has left. Employees may have extended concerns over what may happen if the person returns or if they have to deal with another similar situation.

    Filing a Mental Injury Claim – Get Help From Our Lancaster Job Accident Lawyer

    If you would like to file a mental injury claim, you are encouraged to speak to our Lancaster job accident lawyer. You should be aware that unless you have a physical injury that directly led to your mental injury, you will be required to demonstrate that your stress resulted from what’s known as an “abnormal working condition.” This may be hard to prove on your own, but if you contact our office, we will review your specific situation and work environment to determine your best course of action.

    What is Shift Work Disorder?

    Working various shifts within a 24-hour period can be very difficult for an individual, especially when he or she is subjected to changing shift times every few days or every other week. Unfortunately, such frequent changes in work hours can lead to something known as “shift work disorder.”

    Shift work disorder, which is also referred to as “shift work sleep disorder,” generally causes the worker to experience difficulty sleeping, tiredness, fatigue and excessive sleepiness during daytime hours. All of these issues can result in injuries and accidents in the workplace, as well as with absenteeism and mistakes in judgment while on the job.

    Who Typically Works Varying Shifts?

    There are a number of jobs and professions that require individuals to work various shifts throughout the day. Some of the more common jobs requiring shift work include:

    • Hospital workers (doctors, nurses and nurses assistants)
    • Food service workers (bartenders, cooks and waiters)
    • Firefighters and law enforcement officers
    • Retail cashiers
    • Public transportation workers
    • Airline crewmembers (pilots and flight attendants
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Heavy machinery/vehicle operators (truckers)

    All of these jobs tend to involve extensive sleep disruption, which can ultimately lead to shift work sleep disorder.

    What Types of Medical Issues Can Arise in Individuals Working Different Shifts?

    Besides sleep disorders, shift workers can face a number of other types of medical issues. For example, there have been a number of studies done on cardiovascular diseases in relation to shift work, particularly with regard to blood pressure. The results showed that workers who frequently rotated shifts showed a greater variation in blood pressure during a 24-hour period. Additionally, it was noted that women with heart disease tended to have a worse prognosis than men, with an increased incidence of coronary artery disease in females who worked shifts for a period of six or more years.

    Weight gain has also been an issue for many shift workers. A study that focused on a large set of factory workers over a 14-year period found that 43% of night shift workers had a 5% increase in their body mass index, while 25% had a 7.5% increase and 15% experienced a 10% increase when compared to day shift workers.

    There have also been a number of studies that have considered the relationship between shift work disorders and cancer. The results of those found an increase in colorectal, prostate and endometrial cancers among shift workers in comparison to those who work normal work hours.

    The University of California conducted a study on the relationship between shift work disorders and diabetes, finding that there was a “positive association” between years of rotating night shift work and diabetes. More specifically, the connection was related to excess body weight, and the study found that shift workers might also have a higher risk of smoking and developing Parkinson’s disease.

    Were You Injured While Performing Shift Work? Contact Experienced Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers Today

    Were you recently involved in an accident while performing shift work? You may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim.  We are here to help you with your claim and provide the comprehensive legal guidance that you need during this time. Contact us today to find out if you’re eligible.