What if one day completely ruined your life?
For many teachers, school is a safe place where they get to transform countless lives. However, the classroom can also be a dangerous trap when it comes to potential accidents and injuries.
Fortunately, knowing about the kinds of onsite threats to your safety can help you better prepare for each day. Just keep reading to learn how to protect yourself from all of the potential accidents and injuries at school!
Not an Easy Job
There is a public perception that teaching is a very easy job. They think that it is nothing more than talking about your favorite subject, doing some quick grading, and taking the summer off.
As you know, teaching is actually a very difficult and stressful job. You may be teaching your favorite subject, but you’re teaching it to an overloaded classroom of disinterested children.
And grading may or may not be easy for an individual paper or assignment. But multiply that by hundreds of students and you get teachers who spend many sleepless nights just trying to catch up with their work.
Finally, the school environment is not nearly as safe as the public imagines. Between stress and various onsite threats, your health and safety are in constant jeopardy.
Here are a few of the things that may threaten your safety at work. By understanding these threats, you can better protect yourself, your students, and your colleagues.
It’s an open secret that schools are no longer very safe. In fact, students and teachers alike are at constant risk of physical violence.
The most obvious form of such violence is a school shooting. These events have become so commonplace nationwide that many teachers stress about what could happen at their own school.
However, other forms of violence are much likelier. Teachers may be injured when student fighting breaks out or suffer physical threats at the hands of their own pupils.
Remember, it’s important to report any potentially violent threats to your administrators. And if you have been injured while working at your school, then it’s time to call a personal injury attorney.
When most people talk about a “toxic work environment,” they are usually referring to things like gossip and workplace politics. While these are always annoying factors, teachers must often grapple with a much more literal toxic threat.
Schools (especially older schools) may have mold that you cannot easily detect. Such hidden mold means that you may be breathing in dangerous fumes the entire time you are at work.
Sadly, schools are often home to rats, mice, and other vermin. Such vermin can carry a variety of dangerous infections, as can insects and other pests swarming around the school.
If that’s not enough of a threat, your own classroom is more dangerous than you think. Every nosebleed, scratch, or sneeze is an opportunity for a dangerous toxin to enter your body.
You may not know you have been infected until you notice symptoms or receive a diagnosis from a physician. Be sure to hold onto any paperwork that may be able to link your condition with the environment in which you work.
Teachers don’t often think of “stress” and “personal injury” in the same vein. Nonetheless, a stressful work environment can lead to injuries for which the school is liable.
Those overcrowded classrooms we mentioned earlier can lead to high-stress levels. And a hostile work environment (due to violence, administrative neglect, or other factors) may lead to stress-based injuries.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as the poor ergonomics of your furniture. Sitting at the wrong kind of chair or desk over time can lead to some surprisingly-debilitating injuries.
As long as you can argue that stress was the primary cause of your injury, then you may have an actionable case. As we said before, be sure to document everything.
Importance of Liability Insurance
When you’re protecting yourself at school, it’s not always a matter of protecting your body. Sometimes, you need to take care to protect your job!
It’s possible for your career to be threatened due to a variety of causes. For example, a simple mistake during a gym activity can lead to unexpected injuries that you are liable for.
And in this age of Youtube, you might be the subject of a student’s video and not even know it. Once they edit the recording, it may give the video a false context that makes you look bad and threatens your job.
Finally, you may be at constant risk from false allegations. Even the accusation of sexual conduct with a student behind closed doors can lead to you losing your job.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself from these situations by taking out liability insurance. Such insurance helps to protect your position, your finances, and even your future reputation.
Role of the Attorney
We have mentioned that a personal injury attorney can help you both file and win a claim. However, it’s understandable to wonder exactly what the role of the attorney is in your particular scenario.
In short, an attorney can help you understand the intricacies of Workers’ Compensation as well as filing your claim. This can ultimately save you a lot of time and money.
Most teachers don’t have time to learn about complex legal history and regulation. And lack of such knowledge can ultimately endanger your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
Additionally, an attorney knows how to best preserve and present evidence relevant to your claim. Without their guidance, you may leave out something crucial and jeopardize your chances.
Accidents and Injuries in School: Play It Safe
Now you know how to avoid or otherwise handle accidents and injuries in school. But do you know how to stay on top of breaking news in the world of education?
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