Work Related Injuries

A workplace injury is an injury or illness that occurs in relation to an employee's job. Most states narrow the definition of a workplace injury to one that "arises out of and in the course of employment" to prevent employees from pursuing compensation for injuries not directly caused by the job. Generally, a workplace injury occurs because the work environment is unsafe (the premises are dangerous, the equipment is defective, or the environment is contaminated with hazardous chemicals). In addition, jobs that require repetitive or difficult movements (e.g. factory labor or heavy lifting) may cause injury.

Types of workplace injuries and illnesses that can be compensated include conditions that develop over time because of poor working conditions (for example, certain cardiovascular, digestive, and stress-related conditions). Additionally, a personal injury (including slip-and-fall injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and others) caused by from an on-the-job accident falls under workplace injury law. Finally, some psychological or emotional conditions resulting from a hostile workplace atmosphere can be compensated.

An employee who suffers a job-related injury or illness is entitled to workers' compensation: insurance or other funding (paid for by employers) that provides medical care and cash benefits for employees who suffer a job-related injury, sickness, or disability. In some states, certain employees (including farm, maritime, and railroad employees, casual workers, and business owners) are excluded from workers' compensation.

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