Workers’ Compensation for Musculoskeletal Injuries

Workplace injuries cost employers billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and ever increasing workers’ compensation insurance rates. Employees who are hurt at work or suffer from occupational diseases in the performance of their job often face not only pain and suffering as a consequence of a work related injury, but also periods of disability that wreak havoc on their personal and professional lives financially and otherwise.

Jobs such as those performed in warehouse shipping centers are fraught with both accidental injuries such as struck by or caught in between injuries as well as occupational injuries such as repetitive strain injuries caused by working assembly lines or lifting heavy objects.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Amazon, the leading online retailer with warehouses around the world, “is establishing a program called ‘Working Well’ to reduce workplace injuries prevalent in the industry. Employees will receive targeted education on how to avoid workplace injuries and improve mental health on the job. Amazon’s goal is to “cut the number of recordable incidents in half by 2025”, a win-win for roughly a million Amazon employees in the U.S. and the company who is setting the standard to reduce injuries on the job.

The warehouse industry records more workplace injuries than most others, with musculoskeletal disorders accounting for a large percentage of injuries on the job. Musculoskeletal disorders range from injuries such as rotator cuff tendinitis to herniated discs and other injuries to the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs often caused by lifting, pulling or bearing weight unequally. To achieve the goal of reducing these types of injuries and others in the workplace, Amazon employees not only undergo training on how to lift items properly, but also injury prevention in general. So far, so good, the company’s emphasis on preventing injuries is already reported to have reduced musculoskeletal disorders at the retailer by 32% in 2020.

It is an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees, eliminating hazards and providing training on best practices. When you are injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for medical bills and wage replacement. Depending on the circumstances, a third party claim may also be an option. It is important to work with an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney to maximize your work comp benefits so that you can fully recover from your injury. Contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for immediate assistance at515.989.8529.

Source: WSJ, “Amazon Makes Push to Reduce Worker Injuries”, S. Herrera, accessed May 18, 2021