Workers' Compensation For Office-Related Injuries
When thinking of high-risk occupations, office workers don’t immediately come to mind. Working at a desk all day doesn’t appear to be dangerous when compared to tasks performed in some other professions, such as construction, farm, or factory work. However, there are inherent risks in sitting at a desk all day, answering phones, entering data into a computer, or performing repetitive tasks such as stuffing envelopes. Injuries from prolonged poor posture due to improper desk equipment and muscular strains due to repetitive tasks can cause serious and potentially disabling injuries. Office-related injuries comprise an important topic these days and represent one of the fastest growing segments of workers’ compensation claims. If you think your desk job means you have it easy, think again. There are some important things you need to know about office-related injuries, their causes, and how you can get help for them.
Common On-The-Job Injuries for Office Workers
When you work in an office environment, regardless of whether you’re the receptionist or the CEO, you most likely put in a lot of time sitting and staring at your computer. Whether entering data, answering emails, typing letters, or conducting research, posture is important. How and where you sit, including your relation to your keyboard and computer screen, can have a big impact, not only on your job performance, but on your basic health.
According to the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), job-related injuries among office workers due to poordesk and computer positioning commonly include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries in the shoulder
- Muscle strains and lower back issues
All of these injuries can result from working in awkward postures and having localized pressure concentrated on a particular part of the body, such as the wrists, shoulder, or lower back. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may require ongoing medical care, including surgeries and physical rehabilitation. In severe cases, the end result may be permanent disability.
Preventing Office Related Injuries
Ergonomics is a term related to how people function in the workplace, and it is commonly used to describe conditions in which people can work comfortably while avoiding injury. Ergonomically correct office furniture helps to minimize stress and increase the safety in your workplace by preventing injuries due to muscle overuse, repeated tasks, and poor posture. Ways to make your work environment healthier and decrease your risk of injury include the following:
- Adjust your chair to make sure your feet rest comfortably and your knees are level with your hips. Be sure the chair you use has adequate lumbar support for your lower back.
- Keep objects you use frequently in easy reach to avoid muscle strain.
- Place your mouse within easy reach and use a wrist pad for your keyboard.
- Use a headset when you are on the phone to avoid cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder.
- Place your computer monitor about arm’s length away, slightly below eye level.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Office work can cause injuries that may entitle you to receive workers’ compensation. At Anastopoulo Law Firm our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys can help you to get money to pay for the medical care and rehabilitation you may need, as well as compensation for lost wages. Call Akim Anastopoulo today for a free review of your case. We have offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina and can help you get the compensation you deserve.