Office workers and other white-collar professionals aren’t typically on the average person’s short list of workers at elevated risk for a job injury. While the average white-collar employee may not have the same dramatic job risks as hospital workers or construction professionals, there are still plenty of ways that they can get hurt at work.
In fact, office workers are responsible for a significant portion of medical benefit claims filed through workers’ compensation every year. Just like people working in busy restaurants and factories, office workers may end up developing repetitive stress injuries because they often perform the same basic functions day after day.
The human body is not a machine
Employers tend to prioritize efficiency when delegating job responsibilities. Typically, that means that workers will perform the same tasks over and over again. The receptionist may spend all day answering the phone and typing messages. A transcription specialist may spend most of their day typing and clicking. Filing, stocking and many other tasks that people perform day after day will put them at risk of repetitive motion injuries. Especially when their employer has not properly addressed ergonomic concerns, those job functions can lead to injuries to hands, forearms, backs and necks.
How workers’ compensation helps white-collar employees
A repetitive stress disorder or ergonomic injury probably will not force an office worker to take a leave of absence unless they require surgery. However, they may need alternate job responsibilities and other accommodations. They may also require physical therapy and additional medical treatments to control their symptoms. Workers’ compensation can provide full coverage for someone’s healthcare costs and can help replace their wages during a leave of absence. Injured employees can also benefit from a workers’ compensation claim because it ensures that their employer has an incentive to accommodate them and help keep them on the job.
Although white-collar workers may not have to use their bodies in the same dramatic fashion that blue-collar workers do, they can still end up hurt by fulfilling the same job responsibilities day after day. Seeking legal guidance and filing a claim for workers’ compensation can help white-collar employees and office workers to protect themselves from the burdens of medical bills and lost wages when their profession affects their health.