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How can a workplace injury that leads to PTSD harm a worker?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workplaces should be safe environments where employees have no fear of harm. However, accidents can still happen. When they do, the consequences can be severe, both physically and mentally.

One such consequence is the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.

Origin of the trauma

Whether it is a fall, machinery malfunction or another type of violent incident, the suddenness and severity of an injury can leave a lasting impression on a worker. Their vulnerability and helplessness in the face of danger can overwhelm this person’s ability to cope. This may lead to the development of PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD shows up through a variety of symptoms that can disrupt a person’s life. These symptoms often include nightmares, intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety.

The individual may find themselves constantly on edge, hypervigilant to potential threats, even in non-dangerous situations. Additionally, they may experience mood swings and difficulty concentrating. This further impacts their ability to function both at work and in their personal lives.

Triggering environments

For individuals with PTSD resulting from a workplace injury, returning to the scene of the incident or even similar work environments is tough. The sights, sounds or smells associated with the traumatic event can instantly transport them back to the moment of the injury.

This can reawaken feelings of fear and distress. As a result, they may avoid certain tasks or locations, leading to difficulties in performing their job duties.

Social and occupational isolation

People with PTSD can also struggle to maintain relationships or engage in activities they once enjoyed. In the workplace, they could avoid interactions with colleagues. This often leads to feelings of isolation, creating a vicious cycle of avoidance and distress.

Employers should make policies and procedures aimed at preventing workplace injuries. Workers dealing with PTSD may want to seek fair compensation.