When you imagine a dangerous profession, chances are teachers don’t come to mind. Instead, you likely think of more hazardous jobs like construction workers, firefighters, and police officers.
These preconceived ideas of what a hazardous job is may make the following statistic slightly shocking. Each year, seven percent of teachers across the country are threatened with injury. It’s not just college professors that are being threatened with violence either. Many of the reports came from K-12 teachers.
Unfortunately, aggression and violence aren’t the other risks teachers face each day inside and outside the classroom.
If you are a teacher and you are injured on the job due to a student, another staff member, or someone else’s neglect, you have rights. One of those rights is to collect workers’ compensation benefits. If you need assistance acquiring the benefits you are due, our team at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. is here to help.
Keep reading to learn more about the most common injuries that occur to teachers while on the job.
When working as a teacher, you face risks for all types of job-related injuries. Whether you are writing, working on the computer, or engaging in other repetitive tasks, your hands and wrists can experience stress-related injuries.
Also, standing in front of your class for longer periods of time poses a risk for leg, hip, and back problems. Hanging banners, artwork, and displays put you at risk of falling off a ladder or chair and suffering an injury.
Stress and Psychological Conditions
As a teacher, you likely have a significant workload and minimal time to prepare for class. You also must deal with difficult students, minimal materials, and other pressure to continue to perform in these conditions. This can cause stress and stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression. If the issue is too severe, you may require time off work to seek treatment.
Overseeing some classrooms and curriculum puts certain teachers at a higher risk of injury than others. For example, teachers in charge of driver’s education, STEM, and gym class are at higher risk of injury.
Sports coaches and gym teachers have a greater chance of an athletic injury than a history professor, for example. Chemistry teachers handle Bunsen burners, electrical equipment, and caustic chemicals that can cause skin injuries, explosions, and fires.
The good news is, OSHA does have standards and guidelines for the lab situations mentioned above. While this is true, it does not mean that all schools enforce these guidelines, which puts teachers at a higher risk of injury.
Many teachers are exposed to toxic substances without even realizing it. Sometimes, this exposure occurs day after day without anyone realizing it. At older schools, there could still be asbestos in the building. Some of the other harmful toxins and substances that may be present include excessive dust and dirt, mold, moisture damage, and fumes.
As time passes, and with continued exposure, teachers may develop several symptoms, including muscle cramps, severe headaches, memory loss, skin rashes, blurred vision, and life-threatening illnesses like cancer due to long-term exposure.
As mentioned above, schools are becoming more dangerous locations. Today, teachers are at a higher risk of being injured and even dying due to workplace violence. For example, teachers often have to intervene to break up fights, or they may be victims if a student or adult brings a gun to school.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can Teachers Receive?
The benefits teachers are entitled to depend on their situation and injury. While this is true, some of the things that teachers can receive compensation for include:
- Temporary or permanent partial disability payments
- Medical costs
- Permanent total disability payments
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Mileage reimbursement
- Funeral and death benefits
Do You Need Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you are a teacher and you have been injured while on the job and in the classroom, you have rights. Part of these rights involves receiving compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
If you need help or have questions about your case and situation, contact us. Our team at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A., has helped many clients like you and can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries and issues you experienced. You can schedule a free consultation with our team by calling (561) 513-4376. We are here to help you with your case and represent you while protecting your rights.