Each day firefighters face risks inherent to the job. Recognizing common injuries helps you keep yourself safe and identify when you might qualify for worker’s compensation.
The following are some of the most common injuries firefighters experience on the job.
1. Muscle injuries: strains and sprains
Muscle injuries including strains and sprains are some of the most common firefighter injuries. They occur after an accident such as a fall or when firefighters overexert themselves. Muscle injuries vary widely in severity with some requiring only minor attention and others needing serious treatment.
2. Dangerous exposure: heat and hazardous materials
Firefighters expose themselves to extreme heat and smoke which can cause various injuries including serious burns. In addition, they may come into contact with dangerous chemicals or materials harmful to human health. One example of this is asbestos exposure. These exposures may lead to long-term complications to health down the road, which are not always immediately apparent.
3. Behavioral health impact: stress and trauma
The nature of the job means firefighters witness upsetting events frequently. They also deal with high levels of stress including life-or-death situations which can be tough on mental health. While not always outwardly visible, mental health issues such as depression and PTSD deserve just as much concern as physical injuries.
If you receive an injury on the job or begin to develop health problems over time due to the nature of your work, follow the proper process of reporting it to your employer and getting treatment. Firefighters take care of their communities every day, but they should not forget to care for themselves as well.