When people think of workplace injuries, they often think of positions in warehouses or other physically intense jobs where a worker might suffer serious accidents such as falling, breaking bones or sustaining lacerations. You may not imagine an office to be a risky environment, but there are many work-related injuries that affect clerical staff every day. These four are some of the most common and serious.
1. Carpal tunnel
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, as many as 3 percent of women and 2 percent of men will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in their lifetime. This ailment is the result of excessive pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, which can be caused by continuous typing. Office workers who work at a keyboard regularly throughout the day may be at increased risk of this injury because of the strain typing's repetitive motion puts on the wrist.
2. Eye strain
Eye strain, much like carpal tunnel, is the result of repetitive and continuous tasks that often take place in an office. Typically, it is caused by prolonged periods of using a computer and staring at its screen. The ailment itself is characterized by feelings of fatigue and strain in and around the eyes. Headaches, blurry vision and sometimes even double vision can accompany. This makes continuing work difficult, and it can compromise a person's ability to carry out daily tasks outside of work, too.
3. Trip or slip and fall
Premises liability is not just a concern for customers. It's also a concern for employees in a workplace. Carelessness can cause somebody to slip or trip and sustain a fall. When this happens, the consequences can range from a sprain to broken bones. No matter what work environment you are employed in, it is important to be vigilant about eliminating unsafe conditions that could cause somebody to trip or slip. Offices certainly are not exempt from this risk.
4. Fire safety issues
One of the most treacherous risks that office workers may face is that of fire. In addition to the obvious risk of burns and other injuries, even a fire that is contained can cause smoke inhalation and incur associated health issues. It is essential that office workers be protected from fire risk by proper exit signage, the presence of extinguishers and an evacuation plan in the event that a fire breaks out.
If you have sustained a workplace injury involving these or any other circumstances, you should know about your workers' comp rights. Contacting an attorney may be the right step.