According to Worksafe BC, twenty three percent of all construction site accidents or injuries in the United States are due to overexertion. Common types of overexertion occur when a worker pushes, pulls, carries, and lifts, heavy objects for an extended period. This creates stress on the joints and muscles in the body. Other ways overexertion injuries happen is because of repeated bending at the waist and poor posture. These strains happen and can result in stretched or torn muscles. A common serious form of overexertion is overheating and dehydration. Construction workers are very susceptible to this type of overexertion, especially when they work outside on days that are hot and humid. Overexertion can be avoided, by taking breaks, staying hydrated, and using proper lifting and other techniques to reduce body stress.
Signs of Overexertion
- Significant sweating
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Painful/sore muscles
- Sudden tightening of muscles
- Burning sensations
- Loss of mobility
- Excessive thirst
Accidents That Happen Because of Overexertion
Falls resulting from overexertion are one of the leading accidents on construction sites. Falling on a construction site could result in many types of accidents, such as, falling off scaffolding. See our previous article about construction site accidents, here. A worker can be seriously hurt if he falls and collides with any tool, floors, or hitting other surfaces that can cause injury.
Overexertion because of working in the heat and humidity is dangerous and often not taken seriously because many of the signs are internal. It is crucial to look for the symptoms. Construction workers work hard, but in the heat of the day it is important to stay hydrated (drink lots of water), take breaks often. Heat stroke is common in construction. It can also lead to death if not caught in time.
Muscle strain and sprains occur when construction workers lift, push, and use their body to get the job done. At the first sign of weakness, pain, or swelling, it is important to see a doctor and get x-rays if necessary.
What to Do When the Boss Won’t Pay For Medical Expenses
When construction workers overexert themselves and need medical attention the company they work for should have worker’s compensation insurance that will pay the medical bills, prescriptions, and time lost from work due to the injury. However, insurance companies will try to pay the least amount possible. If you are seriously injured or debilitated and the employer’s insurance company wants you to sign a release of liability, make sure that you are aware of all your rights. The best thing to do before you sign anything is to get the advice of a personal injury attorney. As with any accident, you need guidance from a reputable lawyer. In many states, work related injuries, are under a statute of limitation, meaning you only have a limited amount of time to file a case.
Remember, overexertion can cause serious injury and even death. Construction workers are susceptible to overexertion due to long hours of hard labor in the heat and humidity. Accidents happen when safety guidelines are not followed. Many times workers and their employers do not take it seriously. If you have been injured on the construction site, contact a personal injury attorney to find out what rights you have.