Worries about workplace safety often focus too heavily on the potential for a traumatic injury. After all, dramatic workplace accidents are much more likely to receive media attention and result in an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) than silent and less dramatic medical events that only impact one employee. After all, falls or machinery failures can indicate a culture of carelessness that can endanger other workers as well.
This doesn’t mean that employers or employees should ignore the medical implications of job-related stress. Stress related to workplace issues is also a major health concern for professionals. Far too many people neglect the health consequences of stress, only to end up suffering with serious medical issues.
In some situations, workplace stress can directly relate to severe medical issues, including strokes and heart attacks. Workers who suffered serious medical events related to workplace stress may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim in California.
While survival rates for strokes and heart attacks have increased in recent decades, that doesn’t mean they are less serious than they once were. People can suffer permanent health consequences from a stroke or a heart attack caused by workplace stress.
A heart attack could leave someone unable to perform physically demanding tasks or leave them more vulnerable to future cardiovascular issues. These individuals may not be able to return to a high-stress workplace after a stress-related heart attack. For many professionals, a work-related heart attack means the end of their career.
The medical consequences of strokes are often unpredictable. They can cause a host of symptoms, including issues with mental function and problems with mobility. A stroke impacts your brain, which controls every aspect of who you are and what you do. The parts of the brain affected will determine what symptoms a person suffers. Serious damage to your brain could leave workers unable to complete complex tasks or could affect the mobility in part of their body.
Unlike a fall from a height or an electrocution, a stroke or heart attack related to workplace stress will likely end up classified as a workplace illness rather than a workplace injury. While there may be a single dramatic medical event that culminates in the condition, it was the long-term effects of stress related to the job that resulted in the stroke or heart attack.
It maybe slightly more difficult to seek workers’ compensation benefits for stress-related medical conditions, but that doesn’t mean those benefits are not available. If stress from your job left you medically compromised and resulted in a stroke or heart attack, workers compensation benefits may cover your medical care, as well as your lost wages during your recovery.