Common Ways Teachers Get Hurt on the Job
A teacher’s job is more dangerous than most people realize. School shootings aside, educators are often exposed to a number of potential threats to body and mind.
The majority of injuries sustained on the job while teaching amount to little more than cuts and bruises, but some teachers sustain injuries on the job that cause them real harm. In those cases, it’s essential they know to call a workers compensation attorney to receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
Here are three major areas in which teachers might be injured on the job:
School campuses are used by hundreds of people five days a week. That puts a tremendous amount of stress and strain on aging buildings and infrastructure. School maintenance workers are often hard-pressed to keep up with daily cleaning routines let alone taking care of issues such as:
Potentially harmful fumes and foul odors
Patches of mold and their spores
Pests and insect infestations
These conditions can cause serious allergic reactions and health conditions. Symptoms can include severe headaches, blurry vision, cramps, muscle spasms, fertility problems, and even cancer.
The conditions that cause these health and injury issues are not present in all schools. Many schools have excellent physical facilities with no incidents of their staff having these problems.
Each individual has their tolerance for troubles in the workplace, but no teacher should be required to work in schools that have any of these issues in their physical plant.
Job Induced Stress
Stress can cause all manner of physical problems. As most teachers know, teaching is a very stressful occupation. Teachers are often assigned to do many more jobs than teaching. They are regularly expected to act as nurses, babysitters, security guards, educators, mentors and role models.
Teaching is hard enough without the added pressures of deciding which student is sick, taking care of kids after school until the parents come to get them, and keeping the peace at after school functions and sporting events.
In schools, stress can be caused by overcrowded classrooms, hostile work environments, aging physical plants, and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and age. These are real stress-inducing factors that lead to cases of work-related injuries.
Breaking Up Fights
Breaking up fights between students is something of an unfortunate rite of passage for teachers in many school districts. While the number of physical altercations an individual teacher may be forced to try and stop over the course of his or her career depends on multiple factors, it’s safe to say most educators will have to play the role of boxing referee at some point.
Breaking up a fight between two fourth graders is probably not going to run the risk of getting the teacher hurt, but this changes as kids grow into teenagers. Those teaching at the junior high and high school level are often tasked with putting a stop to physical altercations occurring between kids with the bodies of grown adults.
Requesting the assistance of school security personnel is a process that takes minutes to complete and teachers are forced to intervene. A stray punch can strike the teacher and do serious damage to their mouth, nose, and eye region, while a loose kick can bring a teacher to his or her knees.
Workplace injuries for teachers happen daily. While it can be difficult for teachers to receive the compensation they deserve, it’s not impossible with the right case and the right attorney.