Back Problems, Knee Problems, and Equipment Weight
Numerous law enforcement officers we have represented would not file a workers’ comp case for health issues cause by wearing a gun belt. Many deem it part of the job and don’t believe they should be compensated for it, even if it screws up their health.
This is one of the reasons we represent police officers – dedication to the job and to our communities, even over their own health and safety. We respect the toughness, no question.
However, we must urge you – if you have back, knee, hip or other issues that are likely the result of the gun belt, please file a claim. It’s only fair that you get the chance to protect yourself. The average gun belt, according to reliable sources on the Internet, is between 12 and 22 pounds, with a lot of law enforcement reporting the weight at right around 15 pounds. That’s insane! What’s normal for you, is not normal. This can easily cause problems over time. Failure to file a claim – ignoring it because you’re tough – is liable to cause you a fortune in the long-run.
Of course, the gun belt is not the only cause of back, knee and hip injuries caused on the job as a cop. The reasons an officer might be subject to an injury such as these as far too numerous to name.
If you are experiencing discomfort in you back, knees or hips, it is important to obtain a diagnosis so that you can be treated before your symptoms progress. Have your situation addressed by a specialist, who can discern the cause of your pain and help implement a proper treatment regimen. In addition to medical care, sometimes simple modifications (e.g. lighter vests, alternative holsters) can go a long way in terms of preserving your body.
Workers’ compensation allows for you to obtain proper treatment and compensation. You can treat with a doctor of your choice, have your lost wages if unable to work as a result of your pain, and possibly obtain permanent partial disability.