Ergonomic correctness helps prevent injury, but it is no guarantee

Many regulators and employers take the view that the least expensive workplace injury is the one that never occurs. Of course, even where dedication to enforcing safety standards is high, accidents occur.

Resulting injuries can run the gamut from fatal to less serious musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as sprains, strains, and repetitive stress conditions.

Cumulative trauma injuries are increasingly common

While catastrophic injuries attract the greatest attention, those in the workers’ compensation field know that the MSDs represent a greater concern in terms of cost. Indeed, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) acknowledges that reports about MSDs, also called cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), are on the rise in the state.

In response, the WCB strives to raise general awareness about ergonomics and how people operate in the work environment. The WCB also encourages employers to design plans for reducing CTD risks. To do this, the state recommends employers:

  • Conduct comprehensive studies of specific tasks to identify any points of physical stress.
  • Change work processes to reduce known stress points.
  • Incorporate ergonomic correctness in company culture through robust training and regular system reviews.

It bears repeating, though, that even where attention to ergonomics is high, injury can result, and it can take many forms, including:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Back injury, especially to the lower back
  • Arthritis, linked to such occupations as mining, construction, farming and the services industry

MSDs or CTDs tend to develop over time. And because of workers’ compensation’s no-fault premise, any suggestion by an insurer or employer that benefits be denied because of worker was at fault warrants a strong response.

Regardless of the nature of injury, New York law requires nearly all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance to pay for necessary medical care and provide cash support to help employees recover after a work-related injury.

Do you have questions?

To obtain all the benefits to which you are entitled requires knowing the law and how it applies in your case. This is where an experienced attorney’s help becomes invaluable.

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