Construction worker cutting cement in summerOne of the most common workplace injuries that results in workers' compensation claims year after year is overexertion.  Overexertion can present itself in many different forms.  The most significant issue is that most employees are unaware of the dangers of overexertion until it is too late and a severe accident or illness has happened.

Because many jobs today are physically demanding, it is easy for employees to become tired or worn out without making anyone aware of this fact.  Since the competition to obtain and retain jobs today is so high, employees are more likely to keep pushing themselves despite the warnings that their body is providing them.  When you work your body beyond its abilities, you put yourself at serious risk for workplace injuries.

Why Overexertion is Dangerous

Overexertion typically occurs when an employee feels under pressure to get their job done, so they push their body past its normal limits.  There is a downside to overexertion for both the employee and the employer.  Employees who push themselves beyond their limits, especially when it comes to lifting or carrying heavy items, can end up throwing their back out, slipping, and falling, as well as various other injuries.  The typical injuries that occur from these types of accidents are debilitating, putting the employee out of work for a long period of time, causing further delays in the work getting done for the employer as well as a loss of wages for the employee and the necessity to file a workers' compensation claim.

Overexertion can also occur in employees that work outdoors in the hot summer months.  Heat exhaustion is extremely common in the construction industry where the employees are working in direct sunlight, in extreme heat and with powerful tools.  Heat exhaustion usually hits out of nowhere and can have very detrimental results, even landing the injured in the hospital.

How to Prevent Overexertion

There are several tips that employees and employers can use to prevent overexertion and therefore workers' compensation claims in the workplace:

•           Know your body’s limits – Stop when your body tells you to stop
•           Take breaks – While doing physical work, take frequent breaks to catch your breath and regain your composure before completing the task at hand
•           Stay hydrated – This is extremely important in hot weather, take the time to drink plenty of clear liquids
•           Ask for assistance whenever necessary – Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, it is a much better alternative to getting hurt on the job
•           Follow all safety procedures – The safety procedures are there for a reason, make sure to follow them to prevent an accident

If you or someone you know has suffered overexertion on the job, Walker, Billingsley & Bair is here to help answer your questions. Iowa workers' compensation attorney Corey J. L. Walker practices primarily in work injury law.  He offers a book about Iowa work injuries at no cost, risk or obligation.  The book is called “Iowa Workers’ Compensation - An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” which includes 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work.  To order your copy go to or Call Now 641-792-3595.  Iowans hurt at work are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there to help them and that they should learn about Iowa's workers compensation laws.  For immediate assistance call 641-792-3595 and ask for Corey or Erik. Contact us NOW for more information
Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.