Is Your Job Making You Ill?

Every day, millions of people all over the world head out to work. When you go to work, you have a right to make a living in a safe and secure environment. Some jobs carry an obvious risk of danger, but even the most mundane occupation can harbor risks. If you’ve been feeling unwell of late, or you’ve noticed aches and pains, it may be worth asking if your job is to blame. Here are some common work-related illnesses and tips to keep poor health at bay.

Common work-related illnesses and injuries

Some people accept a risk of occupational illness as part and parcel of their jobs. Others expect to work for years without any injuries whatsoever. Whether you’re a stuntman or an officer worker, it’s wise to be wary of work-related illnesses. Here are some of the most common occupational ailments to look out for.

Back pain

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Back pain is one of the most common reasons for taking time off work. It is particularly common in people who spend a long time sitting or standing on a daily basis. If lifting and handling are part of your job description, you may also be at risk of back problems. Back pain can be chronic or acute. It may also radiate into the neck and shoulders.

Repetitive strain injuries

Repetitive strain injuries, also known as RSI, occur as a result of carrying out actions repeatedly. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis. People who type a lot or perform intricate digital movements are prone to carpal tunnel syndrome. RSI is also common in athletes. Golfers, tennis players and javelin throwers often experience injuries affecting the elbows and shoulders. Symptoms include pain, inflammation, tingling and loss of sensation.

Asthma

Occupational asthma is commonly linked to exposure to harmful chemicals or dusty environments. If you suffer from asthma, your day job may make your symptoms worse. Examples of jobs, which may carry a risk include baking, carpentry and painting and decorating.

Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of work accident. Injuries range from minor cuts and bruises to life-threatening spinal and head injuries.

Stress

Most of us feel stressed from time to time. But if you’re constantly stressed as a result of your job, this can have very serious implications for your health. If you have severe stress, you may feel like you’re always under pressure, you may be more susceptible to illness and you may struggle to sleep.

Improving your health at work

Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid accidents and injuries at work. However, many work-related illnesses could be prevented. Employers are required to adhere to guidelines to protect their employees from illnesses and injuries. There are also additional steps you can take to try and improve your health at work. Examples include:

  • Taking regular breaks
  • Adopting good posture
  • Ensuring your chair and desk are positioned correctly
  • Seeking medical advice as soon as you notice symptoms
  • Taking medication as advised by your doctor
  • Reporting any changes in your health to your employer
  • Using the relevant safety equipment
  • Following safety guidelines and procedures

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of work-related illnesses and injuries. Always make sure that your back is straight when you are sitting down. Keep your shoulders back. Adjust the height of your desk chair to enable you to type without having to reach forwards. Choose a chair, which offers support for your spine, especially the lumbar region. You can find more information about dealing with back pain at http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/get-through-the-day.

If you start to notice changes in your health, it’s always better to get them checked out than to leave them and hope they disappear. In cases like RSI, rest is the only solution and continuing as normal will only make your injuries worse.

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What to do if you’ve been injured at work

If you’ve been injured at work and you were not to blame, you have the right to claim compensation. You could consult a site like http://www.brownandcrouppen.com/workers-compensation/occupational-disease/ if you have an occupational illness. Make sure that you report the incident to your employer and seek medical advice.

If you wish to pursue compensation, it’s a good idea to get in touch with legal experts. The process of claiming compensation from an employer or a firm can be time-consuming and complex. If your case is handled by a law firm, the lawyers will do all the hard work for you and put a strong case together using the evidence you provide.

In many cases of occupational illness and accidents at work, the employer accepts liability. This makes the process relatively simple. In other cases, there may be a situation where a judge has to weigh up one version of events against another. It is worth noting that you can only claim compensation if you were not at fault for your injuries. If you suffered injuries as a result of failing to use equipment provided by your employer, for example, you would be liable for your injuries.

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Nobody wants to head to work each day with an impending sense of doom. At work, you should have peace of mind that you can go about your daily business without any risk of injury. Sometimes, accidents are inevitable, but often, they can be prevented. Make sure you follow health and safety guidelines and prioritize your health. Take advice from your employer on board and see a doctor if you have any worries. If you’re struggling with stress or work is getting too much, talk to your boss. It may be possible to take some time off or lighten your workload.

If you’ve been injured or you’ve developed an illness, you may wish to think about claiming compensation. Compensation could help to cover living costs if you’re unable to work or you have to give up your job due to ill health. Don’t be afraid to seek legal advice if your employer has been negligent. You have a right to make a claim if you’ve been injured through no fault of your own.

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Written by
Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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