Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Preparation against Back-to-School InjuriesSeptember 21, 2015
As school comes back into session across the country, teachers and students are beginning to settle back into the old routine. However, the classroom may be a bigger risk of injury than most realize. Just like any other occupation, there are hazards that professionals need to be wary of in order to have a safe and happy school year.
Educators are at risk for a number of repetitive stress injuries. Long hours of standing in front of a classroom or lecture hall can cause strain on the back, hips, legs and feet. School administration personnel may be working in front of a computer for most of the day, resulting in eye strain, neck and shoulder fatigue and carpal tunnel syndrome. Unlike workplace accident injuries, these types of injuries occur over a long period of time; however, they are no less serious. Repetitive stress injuries can lead to chronic pain, or require surgery and time away from work. If not properly managed, repetitive strain injuries can result in permanent disability.
Becoming a victim to a slip and fall accident is something else educators need to be careful about. Teachers are commonly required to decorate their own classrooms, which may involve balancing on a chair or kick-stool, thus creating a risk of falling. Also, most schools have several flights of stairs that teachers and other school staff must climb several times a day. Excited children rushing up and down the stairwell can easily make a person stumble and fall, resulting in a broken bone or worse.
Some classrooms contain their own inherent dangers. Chemistry teachers, for example, have to deal with chemicals that may be toxic or explosive, resulting in eye injuries, burns or damage to the lungs. Science teachers working with electricity can suffer electric shock or be burned by fire. Gym teachers and athletic coaches can sustain a work-related sports injury. Those who teach the trades, such as auto mechanics or woodworking, are at risk of many serious injuries caused by heavy and often dangerous equipment used in the classroom. Staying mindful of each classroom’s risks can be a huge factor in classroom safety.
Those who work in a school cafeteria face the same hazards as any kitchen worker. These include burns from hot ovens and appliances, scalding from hot water or steam, slips and falls, cuts and lacerations from working with sharp knives and slicers and injuries that occur from heavy lifting. Making sure to adhere to all safety precautions can help cafeteria workers avoid a serious injury.
The American Psychological Association has called violence against teachers a silent national crisis. In Baltimore, the number of teachers injured during violent altercations with students has risen steadily in recent years, though many say that incidents are underreported. In recent years, Baltimore school employees have reported more injuries than those in any city agency, other than the police department. Teachers have been hurt, some seriously, when students hit them, bit them, threw desks and chairs at them or used them as buffers during a fight. Reporting these incidents can help prevent future issues, along with raise awareness of what may be happening in your own school.
Teaching is an emotionally demanding occupation, particularly in city schools. Administrative budget cuts, crowded classrooms, unruly students, pressure for students to perform well on standardized test and a daily threat of violence can take their toll on school faculty. It is not uncommon for teachers to experience symptoms of mental stress, including anxiety and depression. This makes it important for all educators to have someone to talk to, or a support system they can rely on. Without systematic support, underlying issues can perpetuate and worsen.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Maximum Awards for School Employees Hurt on the Job
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton recognize the tremendous service that teachers and school administrators provide to our community. If you’ve been injured at work, you don’t have to fight the system alone. Our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers have the resources, knowledge, and skills to fight on your behalf. Contact us online or call 844-556-4LAW (4529) today to discuss your possible claim. Your consultation is free and because we work on a contingent fee basis, you pay nothing until we secure maximum compensation for you.