Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has been better understood in the mental health and medical community over the past several decades. While it used to be seen as a condition affecting combat veterans, experts now understand that the condition can develop in anyone who has experienced trauma, even second-hand.
Even in lines of work that people in Portland, Oregon, might think of as safe, employees can get severely injured in a lot of ways. These so-called catastrophic work injuries can, in one fell swoop, lead to millions of dollars in workers' compensation payments in the form of medical bills, rehabilitation expenses and lost wages.
A previous post on this blog talked about how employers in Portland and the rest of Oregon have an obligation to protect their workers from exposure to chemicals and other toxic substances. When toxins have to be used in the course of a business's trade, then an employer has to take appropriate safety precautions and provide the equipment workers need to keep themselves from getting sick.
Even though there are constant efforts in Oregon to improve the quality of the environment generally and, in particular, within the workplace, the reality is that many workers in the Portland area still have to work with or around chemicals that are known to be toxic and hazardous to one's health.
Although the average Portland, Oregon, worker probably tries to be careful while on the job and follow the rules, like anyone else, employees do make mistakes. Moreover, it is an unfortunate reality that sometimes these mistakes leave that employee seriously and even permanently injured.
Many people in Portland, Oregon, work at industrial sites or construction zones where there are literally lots of heavy moving parts. In addition to different types of vehicles and industrial equipment like forklifts, walls, heavy loads and other objects are commonplace at an industrial or construction Even mounds of dirt or debris, or, for that matter, open ditches, can give way and move suddenly and without warning.
Although some employers might suggest that an injured worker has to go to a doctor who is chosen by the employer's insurance company, an injured employee in fact has the right to choose his or her own doctor. The person's doctor need only be properly licensed to practice medicine in Oregon.
Like its sister states, Oregon's workers' compensation system is a no fault system, meaning that, generally speaking, no one is going to ask whether a work-related injury was due to the mistake or even the carelessness of the employee.
If you perform a series of repetitive motions for your job, you might be noticing a difference in how you feel lately. An ache here, some stiffness there, even significant and ongoing pain. If you have been performing the same type of work for a while, you might have a repetitive motion injury.
The people of Portland expect that their employers will provide them with a safe place to work. Should they wind up getting hurt at work, it is therefore quite understandable that Portlanders and other Oregonians will first look to their employers to make things right, even when, strictly speaking, the injury wasn't the employer's legal responsibility. There is still the expectation that employers in Oregon take care of their employees.