If you were to compare them with construction sites or manufacturing facilities, offices might seem like safe places to work. The risk of catastrophic injuries is lower for people in office-based professions as opposed to those who work in more physically demanding careers.
However, that does not mean that office work is without risk. The possibility is always there for someone to suffer a massive injury because of a workplace incident or to develop a work-related medical issue, like a repetitive stress injury.
If you work in an office, learning about some of the most common sources of office-related workers’ compensation claims could help you prevent an injury or know when to ask for medical treatment. What are the biggest risks that office workers face?
Repetitive job functions
Doing the same task every day, over and over again, will cause damage to your body without the right ergonomic support. Repetitive stress injuries caused by typing, filing paperwork and answering phone calls are a leading cause of workers’ compensation claims for those working office-based jobs. The more of your day you spend performing one task, the greater the likelihood that you will develop a repetitive stress injury.
Slips, trips and falls
Even if the only time you get up from your desk is to go to the bathroom, you could still get hurt by falling on the job. Office workers might fall down the stairs or take a tumble off of a step ladder. They could slip on a spill in the kitchen or bathroom or trip over electrical cords.
A computer is a safer piece of equipment than a machine press, but it could still have an electrical short that injures someone. Copy machines, fax machines and many other electronic devices used in modern offices can have electrical issues that hurt people or physical issues that lead to injuries, like a copy machine tipping over onto a person.
Whether an office worker gets hurt in a strange situation or develops a work-acquired issue like carpal tunnel syndrome, they can count on workers’ compensation benefits to help cover their medical costs and to extend them disability benefits until they can return to work. Understanding job risks can help those who may eventually need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to recognize when they have the right to do so.