Back and spine injuries affect thousands of workers in Mississippi each year, causing time away from work, reduced productivity and progressive conditions that get worse over time. Workers who must perform their functions in settings that require a lot of sitting, stretching to reach objects, or being in a position where weight distribution is unequal may develop symptoms that are difficult to pinpoint to any one exact cause.
If the injury is not due to a single event such as a fall or sudden impact, it may get worse over time and turn into a chronic condition. Such a condition can result in time away from work or a disability that can become permanent if there is repetitive stress to one specific part of the body, poor posture when sitting with infrequent breaks, or overexertion.
The effect of musculoskeletal injuries on work productivity
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders involving the back or spine were responsible for over a third of reported injuries resulting in time away from work as a result of overexertion or repetitive strain in 2016. The workers most often affected included:
- Truck drivers
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Laborers, stock workers, and freight and material movers
- Stock clerks
- Medical professionals, including nurses
Injuries can occur due to a fall, heavy lifting, overexertion to one side of the body, or repetitive motions, and may result in herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, sprains, or torn ligaments. A spinal cord injury can result in nerve damage, chronic pain, and even paralysis.
Workers’ compensation in Mississippi
In Mississippi, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that provides benefits to workers who were injured in the course of their employment. In exchange, once the worker receives a settlement, they cannot file a future claim against their employer. Workers’ compensation provides two main types of coverage for injured workers:
- Medical benefits
- Wage loss benefits
Medical benefits may include doctor, nursing, or hospital costs, medications, physical therapy, rehabilitative services and mileage expense reimbursement. Workers may receive wage loss benefits of up to two-thirds of their weekly pay, and, while under the care of a doctor, will receive temporary disability payments.
If the disability continues after treatment and prevents the worker from performing their work-related duties, the worker may receive permanent disability benefits. If the disability or injury results in death, the surviving family may receive death benefits for up to 450 weeks after the workers’ death, as well as compensation for funeral expenses and a lump sum payment to the surviving spouse.
For residents of Greenville and surrounding areas, it is essential to come up with a strategy for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits and have patience if there is an initial claim denial. Even if you are entitled to benefits from your employer, it can be challenging to receive a fair settlement.