Shoulder injuries at work can start slowly with minor pain that eventually builds to unbearable levels, or it can happen immediately as the result of a variety of different workplace accidents.
Fortunately, both of these situations entitle workers in New York to file for workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, employees in New York are entitled to workers’ compensation after a work-related accident regardless of the type of injury that occurs.
Read on to get a general overview on the important elements for workers to know about shoulder injuries and workers’ comp, but consult an attorney if you have questions you feel uncomfortable bringing to your employer or its insurance company, or if you find yourself in a dispute regarding benefits.
Shoulder Pain & Injuries
In many cases, a shoulder injury happens because of a repetitive motion performed while on the job. Professions where a shoulder injury may be most likely to occur include those where workers must lift heavy items above shoulder height and carry items on their shoulders. This might include auto mechanics and meat packers, for example.
Workers might experience a variety of shoulder problems depending on the specifics of the accident or exposure that leads to their injury.
Some examples of shoulder injuries include:
- dislocation or separation;
- shoulder impingement syndrome;
- torn rotator cuff; and
- bone fracture.
What Is The Best Medical Evidence To Prove A Shoulder Injury?
What Are The Symptoms of A Shoulder Injury?
There are many telling signs and symptoms associated with shoulder injuries. Pain is the most common symptom of a shoulder injury. However, other symptoms of a shoulder injury include stiffness, a locking sensation, the feeling that the shoulder might pop, weakness and numbness or tingling that may extend down the arm.
The presence of any of these symptoms should be taken as a warning sign of a shoulder injury. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or recurring shoulder, neck, or arm pain, you should consult a doctor. Early intervention is the best form of treatment as untreated shoulder injuries can cause degeneration of the tendons.
Preventing Work-related Shoulder Injuries
Many shoulder injuries occur because of repetitive duties and awkward postures. You can’t change the nature of your job, but there are things that you can do to prevent shoulder injury.
- Use proper lifting techniques. Face the object to be lifted, and keep the back as straight as possible by bending and using legs for lifting power
- Hold items close to the body.
- Do not reach up to place or retrieve heavy objects that are stored above shoulder level. Use a stable platform or step stool.
- Avoid over exertion.
- When doing physically strenuous work, take regular rest breaks.
- Exercise to build strength in the shoulders and back.
Safety tips for desk workers:
- When at your desk, sit in a supportive chair. Your buttocks should be as far back as far as possible in the seat so your thighs are fully supported by the seat.
- Bend your elbows and knees 90 degrees.
- Support your feet on the floor or footstool.
- Place your monitor directly in front of you at fingertip’s reach. Your eyes should be level with the tool bar.
- Take posture breaks and stretch or walk around for a few minutes every hour.
Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation For A Shoulder Injury?
Whether the shoulder injury happens because of a traumatic accident or is caused by overuse, if it happened while you were performing your job, then your employer is required by law to offer workers’ compensation payments. First, however, you should notify the employer of the injury in writing and seek medical assistance to begin treatment for recovery.
As long as your employer’s insurance company accepts the accident as work-related, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is contingent upon your absence from work for seven days. In addition to your medical benefits to treat your injury and provide necessary care, you also may receive cash payments under New York workers’ comp laws.
The Disability Guys: Helping New York Workers With Shoulder Injuries
If you sustained a work-related shoulder injury or are experiencing symptoms of a shoulder injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
The Disability Guys are dedicated to representing injured workers in New York to help them obtain the workers’ compensation that they need. We have been assisting injured workers for over 80 years and have the experienced required to win workers’ comp claims.
Contact us today for a free evaluation on your legal options.