Compared to the general working population, Marylanders who specialize in certain fields may be at higher risk of overexertion and related musculoskeletal disorders. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2014 showed that more than 30 percent of injuries and illnesses were related to MSDs even though the overall rate per 10,000 workers had decreased slightly from the previous year.
In January 2016, insurer Liberty Mutual released its 2016 Workplace Safety Index that used data from 2013 to show that overexertion was the top cause of incidents that could result in disabling injuries. While same-floor falls and falls to lower building levels came in second and third in terms of direct costs to businesses, the cost of overexertion was almost equal to these amounts combined.
Other injury types of note included being hit by objects and equipment, roadway accidents, getting crushed by or trapped in equipment and repetitive motion injuries. In total, on-the-job injuries that caused disabilities cost around $62 billion, with about 65 percent of that sum incurred by the top five types of injury. Occupational health experts commenting on the report expressed their lack of surprise that overexertion was a major problem and highlighted the fact that fields like nursing and freight were known to be high risk.
Workplace injuries have effects that can jeopardize careers permanently. Those who sustain MSDs may experience persistent pain that prevents them from performing the physical labor their positions demand, and their employers may not want to keep them on the payroll if they can’t come to work. In addition, these kinds of injuries may require ongoing medical treatment that can drain financial resources. Workplace injury victims may thus want to speak with an attorney about the procedure for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.