In California, the State, Counties, Municipalities, and Cities employ Firefighters. Firefighting, like other safety positions, are dangerous occupations which have significant risk of injury. Firefighters are expected to and are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to save lives. Due to their injury rates, data concerning Firefighter Work Injuries have been studied as to the nature of their work injuries and their injury rates. A recent RAND study provides some insight into the challenges that Firefighters face.
What Are Firefighters’ Work Injury Rates Compared to Others?
Compared to other occupations, Firefighters have high injury rates. Their rate is slightly less Police Officers. Between 2005-1017, the rates were 200 per 1000 workers for Firefighters. This rate is compared to 35 to 50 injuries per 1000 for all workers. Dworsky M, Seabury SA, Broten N. The Frequency and Economic Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders for California Firefighters: Trends and Outcomes over the Past Decade. Rand Health Q. 2021;9(2):4. Published 2021 Aug 16.
What Are the Most Significant Injuries That Firefighters Sustain?
Of all types of injuries, 47 percent of all Firefighter injuries were musculoskeletal in nature. Supra.
What Body Parts Do Firefighters Injure?
Compare to other occupations, Firefighters sustain more trunk, ie spine, and lower extremity injuries versus upper extremity injuries than other occupations. Supra.
What Are the Causes of Injury for Firefighters?
Strains are the most common cause of injury for Firefighters. Also, burn injuries are more common for firefighters. They represent 6 percent of their injuries. Supra.
Do Firefighters Seek Psychiatric Treatment for Musculoskeletal Disorder Injuries?
It was found that there was no difference between psychiatric issues for firefighter versus workers in similar occupations. Supra.
The caveat to this issue is whether Firefighters use their own health insurance to address psychiatric issues rather than workers’ compensation. Further, there is also the stigma problem. Firefighters may not want it known to Management and co-workers that they have mental health issues.
What If I Need Legal Advice?
If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.