Workplace safety is an important issues for both employees and employers in Minnesota. The index of workplace safety for 2016 that was released by Liberty Mutual on Jan. 14 notes that overexertion was a leading category for on-the-job injuries in 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that workplace musculoskeletal disorder cases decreased from 2013 to 2014 by approximately two cases per 10,000 workers, which may signify that employers are making small but important strides to reduce such issues on the job/

The Liberty Mutual report notes that the direct costs of overexertion cases totaled $15.08 billion in 2013, which represents close to 25 percent of the burden for businesses during the period. Falls from one level to a lower level represented nearly 9 percent of these costs, and falls on the same level represented approximately 16 percent of business costs for workplace injuries. Additional categories of work-related illnesses and injuries with high business costs were equipment injuries involving an individual being struck, equipment injuries in which workers were caught or compressed, vehicle injuries on roadways and repetitive motion injuries.

Both large and small motions can affect an individual’s physical well-being, and when stresses occur because of a work task, any resulting medical issues should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In some cases, these injuries may be difficult to recognize at first. An individual might deal with muscle aches that seem abnormal. People might not seek treatment at first because of not being sure that the issue is work-related. Employers might help to minimize such issues by providing safety training, ergonomic equipment, and pre-shift exercise sessions to warm up muscles.

An individual who seeks treatment under workers’ compensation for an overexertion injury might be worried that an employer will try to deny or dispute the claim. An attorney can be of assistance if this becomes an issue.