Cases of COVID-19 may be declining, but it will be a long time before we're in the clear. Ohio is beginning to ease the statewide lockdown restrictions, as some residents prepare to go back to work.
One thing about this pandemic is certain: it has placed a lot of strain on workers. Medical professionals have been working overtime to treat patients. Grocery store workers and truck drivers have been working hard to ensure that food and essential items are available to the public. Police officers and first responders have put their lives on the line to protect the public.
Some of those who will be returning to work in the coming weeks may have to work extra hard to keep up with demand while following social distancing and workplace safety guidelines.
Risks of injury and illness
Many workers are at a heightened risk of sustaining on-the-job injuries or becoming infected with COVID-19. Workers who endure long hours or must move faster to meet demand are at risk of overexertion and fatigue. This can result in accidents caused by poor judgment, missteps, limited time to take safety precautions, and distraction. In addition, workers may develop injuries from heavy lifting and repetitive movements.
These risks can result in:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Musculoskeletal injuries and disorders
- Spinal injuries
- Foot and knee injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and contusions
Workers who come in close contact with others are at risk of being infected with COVID-19. While wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands can reduce the risk significantly, these precautions don't always offer guaranteed protection.
COVID-19 symptoms usually appear within 2-14 days of coming in contact with the virus and include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or congestion
What should I do if I sustain an injury or illness on the job?
If you have sustained an injury or COVID-19 infection on the job, be sure to notify your employer immediately and contact your doctor to schedule a medical appointment.
Workers' compensation covers the cost of medical treatment and lost wages while you're unable to work. If you contracted COVID-19 on the job, your eligibility for workers' compensation depends on the nature of your job. That's because it may be difficult to prove that you became infected while at work. If it can be proven, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation may allow you to file a claim.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for workers' compensation or need to file a claim, Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. can help. We'll take an inclusive approach to your claim and ensure that all paperwork is filled out correctly.
Our Ohio law offices are located in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, and Troy. To find out how we can help you, contact us online or call (877) 623-6863.