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Injuries Due to Overexertion

Overexertion is the second leading cause of on-the-job injuries and accidents. Frequent causes of overexertion injuries include: lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, or carrying objects as part of one’s job. These injuries can lead to debilitating pain, medical bills, physical therapy, and missed time at work. Those who experience overexertion injuries on the job may have a compensable Maine workers’ compensation claim.

An Overview of Maine Workers’ Compensation Laws

In the State of Maine, almost all public and private employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exempt employers include those engaged in agriculture, with some restrictions, and employers of domestic servants in a private home.

Workers’ compensation insurance will provide benefits for an employee who experiences an injury that arises out of and in the course of their employment. All employees must notify their supervisor within 30 days of the injury, and the employee must either require medical attention or miss time from work to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Worker’s compensation benefits can include: payment of all medical bills, including prescriptions and mileage reimbursements; payment for vocational rehabilitation; weekly wage replacement; and more in the event of severe injury or death.

Common Injuries Associated with Overexertion in the Workplace

A number of injuries can arise due to overexertion from lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, and the like. The following injuries are among the most commonly associated with overexertion:

  1. Back injuries—hurting one’s back is the most common overexertion injury. Back injuries can range from mild strains to severe spinal cord injuries. Some back injuries will require surgery, which can incapacitate the employee for quite some time. Many back injuries will require physical therapy.
  2. Muscle strains—pulled or strained muscles frequently occur when employees overexert themselves while lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying. Muscle strains may not seem like a serious injury, but they can prevent employees from being able to perform their job.
  3. Neck injuries—the neck is a sensitive part of the body, and any injury in this region can have debilitating effects. Neck injuries result all too often from overexertion in the workplace.
  4. Joint, tendon, and connective tissue injuries—the joints, tendons, and connective tissues are intricately involved in the act of lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, and carrying. Overexertion of these vital parts of the body can cause tendon tears, joint dislocation, inflamed connective tissue, and the like.
  5. Heat exhaustion—heat cramps and heat exhaustion may be considered overexertion injuries. Heatstroke often occurs to manual laborers in the summer, but can result year round in some factory conditions.
Causes of Overexertion Injuries

Overexertion injuries can be caused by simple acts including:

  • lifting a heavy object
  • jumping from a height
  • pulling a heavy object
  • carrying a heavy object
  • stepping into a hole
  • working in a hot environment

Employees in certain industries, such as construction, are at higher risk for overexertion injuries, but employees can overexert themselves in any situation.

The Employer’s Role in Overexertion Injuries

The employer is often a contributing cause of the overexertion injury. Employers have control over certain risk factors. For example, some overexertion injuries can be traced to:

  • employees working too long without a break
  • working without proper training
  • being required to perform tasks beyond their physical abilities
Receiving Workers’ Comp Coverage for Overexertion Injuries

Regardless of the cause, if the injury arose out of and in the course of employment, and was timely reported to the employer, the employee may have a compensable workers’ compensation claim. Discussing your situation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is the best way to ensure you receive compensation for your injury.

Maine Employee Rights Group: Dedicated to Protecting Maine Workers

Maine Employee Rights Group proudly represents injured employees throughout the State of Maine. Our experienced legal team guides you through the complex insurance web and helps you to achieve full recovery for your work related injuries. Call us today at 207.874.0905 to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient meeting locations.