Being a corrections officer is an extremely stressful job.  The possibility of being injured while on the job is ever-present.  For instance, on July 4, 2015, a convicted murder serving 46 years assaulted an officer, grabbed the officer’s baton, and injured other officers with the baton while those officers were trying to subdue him.

In addition to physical injury, corrections officers undergo and can suffer effects from mental injuries.  The inherent stressors of the job, including threat of physical injury, assaults with bodily fluids, and the mental toughness required on a daily basis, take their toll on an officer’s mental and emotional health.

Commons Signs of Stress

Stress can affect a person physically.  According to the American Institute of Stress, the following are only some common signs of stress:

  • Grinding of teeth;
  • Cold or sweaty hands or feet;
  • Forgetfulness, disorientation, confusion;
  • Insomnia, nightmares, or trouble sleeping;
  • Excess gas (belching or flatulence);
  • Heartburn, stomach pain, or nausea;
  • Chest pain or palpitations;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing;
  • Increased lying or excuses to cover up poor work;
  • Increased inability to communicate or share feelings;
  • Social withdrawal and isolation; and
  • Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness.

Getting Help with Stress

If you think stress from work is affecting your ability to work or function, there are different types of assistance available to you.

The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (NYSCOPBA) has a program called “Helping Hand.”  This program puts officers who volunteer in touch with other officers who require assistance.  The aid available ranges from offering support by talking on the phone, to delivering food and supplies, and providing manual labor.

In addition, New York State utilizes a program called “Work-Life Services” to provide state employees, including corrections officers, with assistance programs, such as assistance with work-life balance, health/medical benefits, and retirement planning.

Stress as a Basis for a Workers’ Compensation Claim

In New York, stress may serve as a basis for a workers’ compensation claim.  (Matter of Guess v. Finger Lakes Ambulance (2006) 28 AD3d 996).  But, the worker must be able to prove that the stress is greater than that experienced by other similarly situated workers.  (Matter of Spencer v. Time Warner Cable (2000) 278 AD2d 622).

In other words, if you can show that the effects of your stress were brought on by your work as a corrections officer, and if you can show that the stress you suffered is greater than the stress on other similarly situated corrections officers, you may be able to receive compensation for your work-related injuries.

Speak with an Experienced Attorney Now

The Battiloro Law Group specifically represents corrections officers in their claims for benefits.  The attorneys at the Battiloro law Group are experienced in handling the claims of corrections officers, with regard to benefits, worker’s compensation, and personal injury.  If you have experienced an injury on the job, particularly if it is stress related, let us handle your case for you.  Trying to fight for the benefits to which you are entitled can be frustrating and complex, and can cause you more stress.  Call the Battiloro Law Group to let us fight for your full benefits to which you are rightly entitled.