Pennsylvania workers employed in hazardous industrial jobs often face numerous safety risks on a daily basis. Some examples of serious industrial accidents include falling from high elevations, workplace explosions and being injured by defective heavy equipment. Employees who experience these types of accidents often suffer with long-lasting injuries in the aftermath of the initial accident. Injuries to the spinal cord is one such example and will likely cause monumental changes to the victim’s quality of life.

Spinal cord injuries can occur due to direct blows to the spine area. This can occur industries requiring a great deal of manual labor, industries where workers must handle or move heavy items and industries where employees work in high places. Here are just a few of the ways a spinal cord can be injured:

— Abnormal twisting of the spinal cord– Serious spinal cord bruising– Shattered bone fragments may injure the cord during traumatic accidents

Occasionally, the injured party may not realize the extent of the spinal cord trauma. Watching for any associated symptoms such as the ones below can help victims decide if they should be tested for spinal cord injury. Injured workers who experience any of these symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

— Paralysis– Weakness– Increased muscle tone– Numbness– Pain– Sensory changes– Changes to bladder and bowel control

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered spinal cord trauma while at work deserve all the help they can get. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is the best first step. To those who have trouble with claim approval or who wish to explore third-party lawsuits, speaking with an attorney will be beneficial.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Spinal cord trauma,” accessed Aug. 03, 2015