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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

What Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries for Teachers? | Larrimer & Larrimer

Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future of our society. While they often go above and beyond for their students, their job isn't without risks (which is a shocker).

Most people imagine educators working in peace, but the statistics show a different reality. Approximately 10% of American teachers are threatened with physical violence (by students) nationwide.

According to a 2017 Social Psychology of Education survey, one in five teachers was a direct victim of physical altercations, but the attack wasn't reported to authorities. Working in schools and classrooms can expose educators to various health and safety risks that can lead to serious workplace injuries.

The Five Most Common Workplace Injuries for Teachers

The Five Most Common Workplace Injuries for Teachers

Teaching is usually a gratifying profession, but it has occupational hazards too. Many schools have safety procedures, but teachers can still experience abuse while on the job. The following are the most common injuries educators face across America:

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Grading papers is a significant part of a teacher's job, and completing this task requires long hours of sitting and writing. As a result, teachers are at risk of developing repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and wrists.

  1. Athletic Injuries and Occupational Hazards

These two issues are usually associated with gym teachers and athletic coaches, but this kind of workplace injury can affect other educators too.

Teachers can get injured during classroom activities or physical education sessions. Athletic injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to severe fractures and dislocations, leading to long-term or life-changing physical disabilities.

Occupational hazards are also a concern for Biology and Chemistry teachers, with some reporting toxic exposure to dangerous substances during lab classes.

Other forms of toxic exposure involve mold and asbestos growth in old school buildings. Teachers need to seek treatment immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision

  • Skin rashes

  • Memory loss

  • Constant headaches

  • Muscle cramps

Continuous exposure to toxic substances can also cause life-threatening illnesses like cancer and asthma.

Families of former teachers who were victims of such workplace injuries can secure wrongful death benefits and workers' compensation claims from the school authority and its insurance company.

  1. Workplace Violence

This is another significant concern for teachers. According to Statista, there have been over 153 school shootings by K-12 students in 2022 alone.

Many students often suffer from behavioral problems for various reasons, including personal issues, mental health conditions, and family circumstances. Some of these students can potentially threaten the safety of faculties, colleagues, and classmates.

In extreme cases, such incidents can lead to serious injury or even death before police officers arrive. Many schools are investing in safety equipment, such as bulletproof glasses and lockdown mechanisms, to address this serious issue and minimize casualties.

  1. Severe Headaches

Spending long hours grading papers, creating lesson plans, marking syllabi, and managing students can affect teachers' mental and physical health. One of the most common health complaints is severe headaches. These result from constant stress exposure and prolonged screen periods, leading to eye strain and muscle tension.

  1. Broken Bones

Fall accidents are also common among teachers. Slippery floors, low lighting, and uneven surfaces are just a few workplace hazards that could lead to severe injuries, such as sprains, strains, broken bones, and head injuries. These accidents can cause permanent damage and life-long physiotherapy sessions (for elderly teachers).

Claiming Workers' Compensation Benefits for Workplace Injury

Personal injuries can happen to anyone, but some professions have a higher risk of work-related injury than others. Teachers and their support staff are among the professionals who face potential risks every day on the job. Larrimer & Larrimer can also answer questions such as, "What are the most common food service injuries?"

School properties can pose numerous dangers, from precarious ladders to hazardous chemicals. It's not just physical injuries that educators face; school violence can also lead to psychological conditions that may affect their well-being.

Gun-related incidents can also pose a massive risk, making many teachers uncomfortable and fearful for their safety.

Workers' compensation is available to financially help employees who have suffered an injury or illness related to their job. This essential benefit can cover medical bills and lost wages, amongst other things, to help victims recover.

Special education teachers, sports coaches, and other school faculty members can claim workers' compensation benefits if they have sustained an injury.

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Job-related Injuries

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Job-related Injuries

It's a well-known fact that some jobs are more demanding than others. To name a few, people who work in manual labor, healthcare, or construction are more exposed to the risk of injury, including fall accidents, muscle strains, and even faulty electrical equipment.

Amongst these jobs, teaching seems like the safest profession for many people. However, educators working in older school properties with excessive dust or lack of proper maintenance of electrical equipment are also susceptible to personal injuries.

Many teachers are entitled to receive workers' compensation for their fall accident cases and other damages. However, navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, especially when the victim has to deal with the aftermath of an injury.

That's where work injury attorneys come in. By hiring a personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm, injured teachers can fight for the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Qualified attorneys have the legal know-how and experience to handle the case properly.

Injuries caused by the students or defective school property can result in missed work, financial stress, and lost time with family members and friends. However, having an attorney who can empathize with the client's situation can make all the difference.

They can explain the options and the various routes plaintiffs can take to seek compensation, such as through litigation or settlement. Experienced lawyers will also work tirelessly to resolve the case in the client's favor.

Final Words

Personal injuries can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone; teachers are not an exception to this case. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two million non-fatal work accidents take place across the country every year.

While construction and manual labor workers are at a greater risk of injury, teachers in older schools are also injured in special situations. Moreover, rising cases of gun violence in schools cause anxiety and depression among many teachers.

Long-term exposure to caustic chemicals in mismanaged labs and faulty equipment can also harm educators. Teaching is a tough job, and workspace violence can be a traumatic experience.

However, a personal injury attorney can help victims secure workers' compensation for their mental and physical sufferings. Renowned firms also offer free consultation sessions, which most teachers can use to talk to qualified lawyers without committing to a deal.

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