Work-Related Stress and Workers' Compensation
Many of us have stressful jobs. We work long hours, face strict deadlines, and carry responsibility for not only our work but for the work of others as well. This daily stress can result in a variety of health issues. From mental depression to heart disease, work-related stress causes illnesses that lead to temporary, and sometimes permanent, disability. Can workers’ compensation cover these stress-related health problems? In many cases, the answer to that question is yes.
Stress in the Workplace
Police, firefighters, air traffic controllers, doctors – all of these professions are known for being high pressure. People’s lives hang in the balance every day, and the level of stress can be overwhelming. While it may not be a matter of life and death, meeting daily deadlines, managing other people, making sales presentations, and dealing with difficult supervisors can be equally overwhelming. The World Health Organization lists work-related stress as an occupational hazard. Some common indicators of an unhealthy work environment include:
- Excessive demands upon the worker’s time.
- Unrealistic expectations and pressure to meet goals.
- Being asked to perform tasks for which a worker is untrained.
- Lack of support from supervisors.
- Poor relationships with co-workers, including bullying.
- Lack of support for domestic and parenting issues.
- Job insecurity and lack of promotion opportunities.
Whether you’re a doctor, accountant, sales manager, or hotel clerk, workplace stress may impair your ability to function on the job.
Common Health Issues Associated with Work-Related Stress
Continued exposure to workplace stress extracts a heavy price, both physically and mentally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early signs of job stress include mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, sleep disorders, digestive ailments, headaches, and problems in relationships with family and friends. Long-term effects can produce high blood pressure and may result in heart attack or stroke, leading to temporary, and sometimes permanent, disability. Far from being a sign of some personal shortcoming or weakness, these conditions are a sign that your workplace is unhealthy and putting your health, as well as your livelihood, in danger.
Get Workers’ Compensation for Stress-Related Disorders
In South Carolina, there are circumstances in which you can claim workers’ compensation for physical and mental illness caused by on the job stress. Under Title 42 of the SC Code of Laws, you may be able to be compensated if you are unable to work temporarily due to stress-related injuries such as high blood pressure or depression or suffer permanent disability as a result of a heart attack or stroke.
If you think you may be entitled to workers’ compensation due to physical or mental health issues arising out of work-related stress, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today for a free review of your case. We can help to ease the burden of work-related stress, and assist you in getting the benefits you and your family deserve.