Taking a job in an office setting probably seems like a safe career decision. Unlike those who have to work with their body every day, like construction workers or manufacturing employees, office workers perform administrative and intellectual tasks, ranging from closing sales to designing buildings.
Compared to being outside or in close proximity to moving vehicles, working in an office seems much safer. While the risk of traumatic injury may be somewhat lower in an office setting, that doesn’t mean that office workers never claim workers’ compensation benefits. On the contrary, workers get diagnosed every day with work-acquired injuries from office work. What are the most common ways that workers get hurt in an office?
- They develop shoulder, back or eye issues because of long days at a desk
Sitting all day, particularly without proper lumbar support, can lead to lower back pain. Needing to lean forward to type or dial a phone frequently might cause pain in the shoulders or neck muscles. Workers can also develop headaches and other symptoms of eye strain from looking at a bright screen all day.
- The office setting can easily lead to carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetitive stress injuries affect those who perform the same work every day. Even needing to type on a keyboard all day can cause strain to the hands, wrists and forearms. Carpal tunnel syndrome affecting computer-using office workers is among the most common repetitive stress injuries reported for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers may need to change their job responsibilities, go to physical therapy or even undergo surgery in extreme situations.
- Office workers aren’t immune from traumatic injury either
One of the most serious risks in the average office setting is the possibility for someone to slip and fall. Office worker could fall down stairs, trip over power supply cords or even fall on their way into work from the parking lot because of a wrinkled mat on the floor. Falling might mean a head injury, a broken bone or another issue serious enough to require both medical care and time off of work.
Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance requirements apply to employers in every industry, not just the industries with the highest risks for traumatic workplace injuries. Office workers who get hurt at work or acquire a medical condition because of their job have the same right to benefits as a construction worker who falls from scaffolding.