Occupational Hazards for Teachers
If you are an educator in Ohio, you can receive workers’ compensation for your lost wages and medical treatment if you are injured on the job. While you may not think educators face many injury risks, teaching is not only physically demanding (for certain subjects more than others) but is also physically dangerous.
Common occupational hazards educators face include:
- Slip and fall accidents. Teachers can suffer injuries in a slip or trip and fall accident, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck injuries, and lacerations. A number of conditions in schools or district offices can lead to falls—spilled food or drinks, water or trash in bathrooms or halls, parking lot hazards (i.e. ice, snow, water, potholes), unkempt extension cords, and damaged flooring or stairs.
- Repetitive strain injuries. Many teachers file workers’ compensation claims because of repetitive strain injuries, including carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, etc. These injuries can be caused by any number of repetitive movements that teachers make, including typing, writing on the whiteboard or while grading papers, or standing for long periods.
- Toxic exposure. If an educator works in older buildings, they can suffer injuries because of long-term exposure to toxic substances in the walls or around the school. Harmful substances like mold, fumes, or excessive dirt can lead to cancers and other life-threatening illnesses as well as blurred vision, rashes, headaches, memory loss, or cramps.
- Violence. Thus far, in 2022, there have been 141 incidents involving gunfire on school grounds in the U.S that resulted in 48 deaths and 115 injuries. Teachers can not only be injured in school shooting incidents but can also suffer injuries when trying to break up a fight between students.
- Teaching subject-related injuries. Teachers face unique occupational hazards, based on the subject matter they teach, that prevent them from performing their job. While a gym teacher may suffer a sport-related injury, a chemistry teacher may suffer a workplace accident related to harmful chemicals.
- Stress and psychological strain. Educators have a tough job. Not only is their job physically demanding but it can also be mentally and emotionally demanding; they have to handle and navigate challenging students and/or parents, lack of supplies and funding, staff shortages, community-related challenges, and other external pressure. These challenges can affect a teacher’s mental well-being and can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, or other physiological conditions.
Get Legal Help
At Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC, we understand how devastating an on-the-job can be for your financial, mental, and physical health, which is why we are committed to helping our clients receive the benefits they need and deserve. If you have been injured at work, our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options, and we can help you file a workers’ compensation claim. In addition to handling initial filings, we can help clients with appeals.
To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with a member of our team, call (937) 403-9033 or contact us online today.