When people talk about workplace injuries, it’s common for them to picture particularly dangerous careers, such as welding in a construction setting or delivery driving. Most people would generally consider working in an office to be inherently safe.
However, offices do have their own hazards, even if individuals aren’t out working at great heights or dealing with dangerous power tools. What are some of the most significant risks for office workers?
Back pain and eye strain are among the leading complaints
Working at a desk all day means sitting in a somewhat unnatural position for extended amounts of time. Although getting to sit at work may sound outright relaxing for those who have to stand all day, it does put pressure on the back and often causes pain in the shoulders and neck if people slouch or lean forward toward a computer or phone.
Additionally, needing to look at a screen all day and constantly reading can cause eye strain which may lead to debilitating headaches or even result in vision problems.
Carpal tunnel is a painful consequence of constant typing
The way that people hold their hands when they type isn’t natural, and needing to continually type throughout an 8-hour shift can put a lot of pressure on the wrists and forearms, especially if the company does not provide workers with ergonomic keyboards and desk setups. Carpal tunnel may require a change of responsibilities, frequent breaks, therapeutic exercises or even surgery in some cases.
Office workers are also at risk for falls
Someone doesn’t have to work at a significant elevation to get hurt in a fall. All they need to do is trip over the wire that provides electricity to the office printer. Stairs, uneven floors and a host of other risk factors can lead to office workers falling and getting hurt.
Just like workers in more traditionally dangerous professions, office workers who get hurt on the job or develop a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel because of their job responsibilities can likely seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover their lost wages and medical expenses. Such benefits are particularly important when a worker needs time off to heal or requires more expensive medical care, like physical therapy or surgery.