What Types Of Work-Related Injuries Do Teachers Suffer?
It is uncommon for people to think of teachers when they hear about work injuries and occupational diseases. However, the truth is that many teachers suffer work-related injuries and develop occupational illnesses at some point in their careers for various reasons. And unfortunately, some of these injuries and illnesses are severe and life-altering. Luckily, if you are a teacher in Illinois, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a work injury or developing an occupational illness.
The following are some of the work-related injuries and illnesses teachers may experience that may qualify them for workers’ compensation benefits;
Chemical-exposure Related Illnesses
For example, if dangerous chemicals and materials in a school laboratory are improperly labeled, handled, or manufactured, they can pose a hazard to teachers. Also, older school buildings can cause teachers to suffer illnesses due to long-term exposure to toxic substances. For example, toxic substances in school walls or around the school can lead to cancer.
These injuries affect the bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, or nerves, resulting in pain. According to research, teachers report higher musculoskeletal disorder rates than other workers. Among teachers, these injuries occur because of prolonged standing, sitting, and bending periods at awkward positions. Also, the lifting of heavy objects can cause musculoskeletal injuries.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, even in schools. For example, teachers may slip and fall due to slippery floors, messy extension cords, objects left in the walkways, and uneven carpeting. Among the injuries that teachers can suffer in slip and fall accidents are neck injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
A repetitive stress injury arises when the muscles, nerves, or tendons are damaged because of repetitive motions and constant use. Many teachers seek workers’ compensation benefits because of repetitive stress injuries. Often, teachers do the same work over and over, such as typing, standing in front of the class, and grading papers. This type of work can result in repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, epicondylitis, and bursitis.
Injuries Due to Workplace Violence
Unfortunately, school violence is still a major concern in the United States of America. Despite schools taking precautions to keep students and staff members safe, school violence still occurs. It is estimated that in 2022, there were over 170 incidents of gunfire in schools across the U.S., which resulted in over 50 deaths and more than 140 injuries. Apart from suffering injuries in school shooting incidents, teachers can also suffer injuries when trying to break up fights between students.
Available Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
First, a teacher who suffers a work-related injury or develops a work-related illness is entitled to compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from their injuries or illness. Second, disability benefits are available if you are unable to work because of your work-related injury or illness. Additionally, a teacher who suffers serious and permanent disfigurement may be eligible for disfigurement benefits.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Are you a teacher who has suffered a work-related injury or developed a work-related illness and needs help seeking workers’ compensation benefits? Contact our qualified Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Lawyer to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.