Teaching has typically not been considered one of the more dangerous professions someone can pursue. Even with the increase in school violence in recent decades, your chances of being seriously injured while working in an elementary, middle or high school are relatively low compared with many other types of workers.
Guidelines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or some version of them govern all public and private schools. Even when it doesn’t have specific regulations regarding certain dangers, like violence, OSHA has recommendations, such as designated reception areas where visitors must sign in, employee photo IDs and lockdown and evacuation procedures.
Teachers who specialize in teaching certain classes are at greater risk than others. Chemistry teachers and shop teachers, for example, need special safety equipment for themselves as well as their students. Gym teachers and those who coach sports are at risk by being struck by errant balls and other sports equipment or being injured while demonstrating a move or technique.
Even teachers who do nothing more physically strenuous than stand in front of a class all day and grade papers at night can suffer repetitive stress injuries from using a keyboard or leg, hip or back problems from prolonged standing. Even reaching up on a high shelf to get something down or to erase things on a chalkboard can cause strains.
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job that requires medical treatment, physical therapy and/or time away from work, it’s essential to get the workers’ compensation benefits to which you’re entitled. This can provide you and your family with much-needed financial support.