It is possible to divide worker's injuries into two categories: those injuries that manifest themselves immediately and those that only become evident after a long period of time has passed. It is not possible to say which is more dangerous, since each injury plays out in different ways, but it may be harder to pinpoint the exact cause of long-term injuries because they develop over time.
A version of this debate is currently going on surrounding the sport of football. Many argue that the repeated pounding on the head and body that football players face in each game affects their brain activity and can eventually lead to life threatening brain damage, a claim the National Football League vehemently denies.
After studying the brain of a deceased football player, one of the authors of a new book highlighting the link between brain damage and football, and determined the player had a disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy that caused his behavior to change. He concluded that the cause of the disease was the trauma he sustained on the football field. When he approached the NFL with his findings, he claimed the NFL denied any link between repetitive injuries, concussions and brain activity, even as they make disability payments to former players demonstrating dementia-related problems.
As the debate goes on, North Carolina workers should keep in mind that worker injuries can come in any form and in any profession, and can be either permanent or treatable. Whatever the case is, injured workers have the right to file a workers' compensation claim to receive compensation to cover their medical expenses and replace wages they lose due to the injury. Reporting the injury can also highlight the matter on a larger scale and force the company to change their safety procedures to create a safer working environment for employees.
Source: NPR, "When it comes to brain injury, authors say NFL is in a 'League of Denial'," Oct. 7, 2013