Employees are at the mercy of the economy, and many workers live in daily fear of losing their jobs. The pressure to meet deadlines, save the company money, and retain health and retirement benefits can easily overwhelm employees, taking a physical and emotional toll. Many employees consider panic attacks or work-related chronic fatigue as part of the job.
The truth is stress-related conditions can cause real injuries that are recognized under workers’ compensation laws.
Working Conditions That Can Cause Stress-Related Diseases
Not only can work-related stress cause both physical and emotional disorders, it can also cause a negative interaction between the two conditions. Known as psychosomatic injuries, these conditions impact both the mind and body—such as continual elevated heart rate that eventually results in a heart attack.
Stress-related work injuries may occur due to:
- Job requirements. Jobs that are inherently dangerous pose a daily threat of injury or even fatality for their employees. Police officers, personal security guards, and emergency medical responders are first on the scenes that involve horrific injuries and death. Firefighters may have to climb stairs and haul hoses, placing physical stress on their joints, while ambulance drivers who witness the gruesome effects of a fire can cause flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Work environment. A work setting can easily create stress depending on the location and conditions employees must endure. Loud noises, overbearing bosses and managers, and unfair or unsafe working conditions can place psychological stress on employees, creating a sustained “fight or flight” reaction that wears down the body.
- Disability. Employees who suffered an injury on the job that prevents them from working may also struggle with sleepless nights and prolonged anxiety as they worry about how they'll earn a living.
Physical injuries and psychosomatic illnesses can both qualify for workers’ compensation, but employees will have to prove that all of their conditions resulted from their work environment. If you're suffering a mental or physical injury as a result of stress at work, you should speak to an attorney before accepting your workers' comp settlement. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation.