Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, tendonitis, bursitis, and stress fractures, can cause a person to suffer with long-term pain and limitations in his day-to-day activities. Workers in many industries risk suffering these problems from performing repetitive or awkward movements, falling, or overexerting themselves. Many of these workers work in low-paying industries such as fast food restaurants, retail work, and office work and cannot afford the expensive medical treatments and time off work needed to heal.
Five Steps Employers Could Take to Prevent Soft Tissue Injuries
Employers—including non-subscriber employers like Target, Wal-Mart, Lowes, McDonald, and Wendy’s—could reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries by implementing workplace safety measures. Ways to reduce these types of medical problems include:
- Reducing awkward body movements. Work should be positioned within easy reach and at a correct height to avoid awkward twisting and reaching. Adjustable work stations and tables can help tailor the work area for the employee’s height.
- Reducing heavy lifting. Employers can minimize the risk of workers overexerting themselves by lifting too-heavy objects by using manual tools such as lifts, carts, or rollers, and teaching employees the proper ways to lift to prevent injuries.
- Reducing repetitive movements. By designing work areas to reduce repetitive motions and having workers change tasks frequently, employers can reduce the risk of worker injuries caused by performing repetitive motions.
- Providing rest breaks. Employers should allow workers to take rest breaks after doing work that puts them at risk of developing soft tissue injuries because worker fatigue increases the danger that their bodies will not recover from the stress on their musculoskeletal systems.
- Training workers to recognize the warning signs. Many soft tissue injuries can worsen over time if they are left untreated. Training workers to recognize the warning signs that they are suffering from a soft tissue injury and to seek medical treatment promptly could reduce the severity of the injury.
Even if your employer follows these safety procedures, you could suffer a soft tissue injury from the duties you perform daily. If you are employed by a non-subscriber employer who has opted out of workers’ compensation, you could still be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering from your employer. Call us at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.