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Is stress a workplace injury?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2018 | Workplace Injuries

When people talk about getting injured on the job, many think of a physical injury, such as a broken bone, laceration or traumatic brain injury. There are instances, however, where a workplace injury is not physical at all. Psychological injuries, including stress and anxiety, can limit your ability to perform your job. In some cases, they can cause long-lasting mental disabilities. Stressful work environments occur across many industries in the Wisconsin and the United States. If the problem is chronic, workers may have the legal rights to file a workers’ compensation claim.

In one situation, a school teacher who was repeatedly subjected to teach a particularly unruly second-grade class, filed for workers’ compensation. She claims that the stress caused by the disorderly children resulted in physical health problems, including nausea, dizziness and consistent headaches. When the teacher went to her doctor’s appointment, the physician told her not to return to school because the stressful work environment was bad for her health and causing these issues. She later suffered a heart murmur and a vocal cord injury and was granted workers’ compensation by a Pennsylvania judge.

Not only does stress cause serious emotional problems, but over a long period of time, it can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, weight gain, digestive problems and even heart disease. When you are subjected to a stressful work environment, you may develop these symptoms over time. In some cases, the workplace may be so stressful, it can inhibit your ability to continue working, especially if physical problems develop as a result.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.