When most people imagine workers' compensation accidents, they tend to think of people working around dangerous machinery. The reality is that you can suffer debilitating injuries while working at any job; including in an office.
If you are a white collar employee, you probably don't spend your 9 to 5 around molten steel or power saws, but that doesn't preclude you from suffering injuries while on the job. These injuries can rack up major medical bills, keep you out of work and require expensive braces or other pieces of medical equipment.
White collar on-the-job injuries
Office safety can quickly be overlooked in many work environments. A lack of obvious dangers can cause a sense of complacency on the part of managers and employees alike. Injuries can happen any time, though. According to the Office of Human Resources Management, these are two of the most common injuries you may face as an office-worker.
A disabling injury from a fall is two and a half times more likely to happen to an office worker than any other type of employee. Serious falls are often caused by:
- Loose carpeting or damaged floors
- Unexpected spills or unmarked wet flooring
- Open drawers, boxes and other obstructions
- Unsecured cords
A bad fall can lead to broken bones, fractures, head injuries - including concussions and traumatic brain injuries - and spinal cord damage. Always ensure that your way is clear and be mindful of your footing when walking the hallways of your office.
Working in an awkward position can have serious impacts on your muscles, nerves and circulation. Make sure that your workstation is arranged to comfortably fit your needs. You should not have to over extend to reach your keyboard, strain to see your monitor or develop aches from how your chair is oriented.
According to OSHA, some of the injuries most often associated with poor ergonomics include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Upper and lower back strains
Be sure to regularly take mini-breaks to stretch tense muscles, rest your eyes and adjust your posture. Nerve and muscle damage is often extremely painful, and depending on its severity, may never heal fully.
If you have suffered any of these injuries, or are noticing new pain, see your doctor right away. After your visit, speak to an experienced attorney and learn your options regarding workers' compensation. On-the-job injuries can be financially crushing - don't face the burden alone.