When many people think of work-place injuries, they automatically think of manual labor jobs. It is true that most work-related injuries occur in labor-intensive professions, but a large number of work injuries do happen in white-collar, “safer” occupations.
Professional education is one such field which experiences a high number of work injuries. While teachers do not suffer as many work injuries as nurses, teachers, aides, and principals find themselves acting in the best interest of the children/students with whose welfare they have been entrusted. Because of this responsibility, teachers may find themselves in difficult, sometimes even dangerous situations.
It is important to remember that in Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation covers injuries occurred on the employers’ premises or injuries which occur in the scope of employment. This fact means that teachers may be covered for injuries that occur in the classroom and injuries that occur outside of the classroom in situations such as field trips, seminars, or conferences. It was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the US. Department of Labor, that employees in the educational services industry suffered nearly 75,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses which required some missed time in 2011 alone (See www.bls.gov for an industry by industry breakdown of workplace injuries).
Teachers encounter some unique issues that may lead to workplace injuries. Many teachers and professors spend long hours at a computer, standing at a chalkboard, or bending over to instruct younger students. These postures may lead to injuries involving the wrists, hands, shoulders, neck, and especially the lower back. If a doctor can show that these injuries are caused by work, even if they appear slowly over time, the injury may be compensable.
Other factors, which may be more rare, can be even more dangerous. Think of a chemistry teacher being exposed to dangerous toxins. Think of a gym teacher who may suffer an athletic injury while instructing or coaching a class.
Possibly the most dangerous situation a teacher may find themselves in would involve in-school violence. Whether the violence is the result of students fighting or outsiders coming into the school, the teacher will very often do what they can to protect the students. Many teachers have been injured attempting to break up fights . These types of injuries can be very serious and may be compensable under PA workman’s comp laws.
We have represented many teachers in workers’ compensation cases and are always in awe of their dedication to their students and the loss they feel if they can not return to their chosen profession.
The law firm of Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.
Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C.
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
14 North Main Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201