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Work-Related Injury Risks Faced by Missouri Teachers

by James M. Hoffmann on Jan. 13, 2017

Employment Workers' Compensation Employment  Occupational Safety & Health Accident & Injury 

Summary: Missouri teachers are exposed to many different risks on the job.

When we speak of workplace injuries, we often think of workers in the construction, manufacturing, or some other high risk industry. However, other classes of workers including teachers face injury risks at work. Some of the most common challenges that teachers face in the workplace include:                                                                                    
  • Toxic exposure
  • Violence on and around campus
  • Hostile work environment

Toxic Exposure

While it is hard to believe that there can be toxins in schools, but it is a reality. Some of the warnings of toxic contamination in schools include:
  • Excessive dust or dirt
  • Moisture damage
  • Fumes and foul odors
  • Patches of mold
  • Vermin, pests and insects
These toxins can enter the body by way of ingestion, inhalation or eye absorption. The exposure can have acute or chronic effects. It can cause any of the following symptoms:
  • Ear, nose and throat irritations
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Persistent skin rashes
  • Frequent bloody noses
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cancer or another catastrophic illness
  • Fertility problems or birth defects
It is not always easy to identify the signs of toxic exposure, as some of the most serious effect such as birth defects or cancer occurs years later.

Acts of Violence

These days, violence against teachers is not unheard of. In fact, violence against teachers is more common than you may think, and is a common cause of work-related injuries.

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, as many as 80 percent of the teachers surveyed were victimized at least in the current or previous school year. Teachers report being victims of shootings, assault, and stabbings. The perpetrators included students, their parents and other members of the community.

Job-related stress

Stress is among the most common causes of work-related injuries in schools. Teachers have to play various roles such as that of a nurse, educator, babysitter, mentor and a role model, and as a result, teachers often become stressed. This stress can occur from various factors such as a hostile work environment, poor ergonomics, over-crowded classrooms, lack of administrative support, shortage of materials, and lack of time between classes to prepare or recover.
It is important to note that an illness could be a result of cumulative stress or trauma.

If you are a Missouri teacher, and you think your injury or illness is a result of the work you do or the conditions at your workplace, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Give us a call at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights.

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