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Back to school: preventing staff injuries in the classroom

Although teachers and school staff work hard to make schools a safe environment for students, sometimes school staff members become victims of injuries in the workplace. A teacher or staffer focused on students may fail to realize a potential hazard to their own safety in the classroom. Now that school is back in session, here are some tips for schools and educators to take to prevent work injuries in the classroom. 

Having a Clean Workplace

Especially with COVID-19 protective equipment in use in schools, it is important to keep the classroom neat and orderly, including ensuring there are adequate walking paths in between desks and other furniture, and that floors are free of extended wires or cords, debris, or other objects that may cause a trip and fall accident. Any sharp objects, like scissors, should be put away when not in use. In addition, spills or other messes should be promptly cleaned up, even in the middle of a lesson. 

Use Tools and Equipment

Teachers should always be using ergonomic tools and equipment to help prevent strains and injuries. At the desk, teachers should ensure that their chair is positioned so that their feet are flat on the floor and their thighs parallel with the floor. Keyboards should be positioned so that elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and wrists are straight. Computer monitors should be raised to eye level.

Teachers may also want to consider placing anti-fatigue mats up at the front of the classroom if they spend long periods standing in front of the class, as well as wear comfortable shoes that support a lot of walking.

If teachers are required to lift heavy objects, schools may want to consider having lifting support equipment available to prevent teachers from injuring themselves. 

Stretch and Take Breaks

Repetitive stress injuries are a common occurrence among teachers due to the amount of writing and typing they do. Teachers should prepare themselves for long writing or grading sessions by taking time at the start to stretch. During long periods of sitting or staring at a computer screen, teachers and school staff should remember to take frequent short breaks.

What Are Your Rights As a Teacher or School Staffer Injured at Work?

A teacher or school staffer who is injured at work may be entitled to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits. These benefits can include:

  • Payment for all reasonable and necessary treatment for a work-related injury
  • Temporary disability benefits, which can provide partial wage replacement if you miss time from work due to a work injury
  • Permanent partial disability benefits, which can provide financial payments when you sustain a permanent disability but can still work
  • Permanent total disability benefits, which continues to provide partial wage replacement if you are unable to return to work

If you are having trouble obtaining the Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve after a work injury, a workers’ comp attorney can help you file a formal claim to get the financial resources you need to recover from a work injury. 

Contact a Clark Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with medical treatment and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Team Law represent clients in Bayonne, East Orange, Clark, New Brunswick, and all across New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 136 Central Avenue, Clark, NJ 07066, and we also have offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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