In the course of fulfilling their duties, workers can encounter hazards that lead to injuries or illness. These incidents can result in time away from work, medical expenses and other financial burdens. In Washington State, the workers’ compensation system offers protection to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses.
Workers’ compensation provides medical treatment, wage replacement and possibly other benefits depending on the nature and severity of the injury or illness. Here are some of the most common reasons workers in Washington State file for workers’ compensation.
Injuries at work represent a common reason for filing workers’ compensation claims. These injuries can range from minor cuts and sprains to severe injuries like fractures or amputations. In Washington State, workers in industries such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing often face these risks due to the physical nature of their work.
Workers may develop diseases over time due to exposure to harmful substances or conditions at work. Conditions like asbestosis from asbestos exposure, silicosis from silica dust and hearing loss from excessive noise are examples of occupational diseases that can lead to workers’ compensation claims.
Repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, can develop over time due to repetitive movements or overuse of certain body parts. Workers who spend a lot of time at a computer or performing repetitive tasks are particularly susceptible to these types of injuries.
Work-related mental health conditions
Mental health conditions related to work stress or traumatic events on the job can also be a basis for workers’ compensation claims. For example, first responders who develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
It is important for workers to be aware of their rights and the protections available to them under Washington State’s workers’ compensation system. This awareness can help ensure they receive the assistance they need to recover and return to work following a work-related injury or illness.