We often imagine that there are only a select few jobs considered “dangerous.” It’s easy to isolate occupations like construction work, healthcare, or food service as “high risk.” Injuries are more common in those fields, but any activity we undertake has inherent dangers. Even if you were to lock yourself inside a sterile room, you could suffer vitamin deficiencies from avoiding the outdoors.
This is why it is important to acknowledge the implicit dangers of any job. Workers have a right to be protected, and they have a right to know how they could be hurt at their place of business. In this blog, we will discuss 5 common ways you can be hurt in an office.
1. Making Contact with Something
In a busy environment, office workers are often shuffling about from place to place, moving quickly to deliver messages and meet deadlines. With all this activity, contact injuries are bound to occur. People may find themselves walking into open file cabinets while looking at their paperwork. A cubicle worker could push out their chair just as someone is rushing past. People can drop things onto others or even collide into one another, not watching where they are going.
2. Hurting Yourself from Lifting
Technically, office workers shouldn’t lift or move most things. This work is usually relegated to warehouse and maintenance workers. However, most office workers will admit that they are often asked to move or lift boxes, setting up new equipment and clearing out walkways.
When someone primarily moves and lifts items for a living, they are properly trained. They wear safety equipment that shields them from impact. There are even harnesses and belts that redistribute strain, helping prevent muscle injuries. These activities build muscle and skill. When an office worker is asked to do heavy lifting, they may be unaccustomed to such work. The simplest misstep can cause injury, from a twisted ankle to a hernia.
3. Falling Over
With the fast-moving action that sometimes happens in an office, people often fall. Perhaps there was a foreign object in their path, or uneven flooring caused them to lose their balance. The human body is susceptible to damage from impact. Even falling from a standing position can cause bone or muscle injury. At its most extreme, a fall could cause brain trauma.
Office workers are sometimes asked to use ladders to help reach high objects. Ladders are not always stable, and a fall from any height can be dangerous and even deadly.
4. Fighting with Another Worker
People spend most of their day at work. They believe that their vocation matters and that their place in the company is important. Workplace disagreements can get heated, and heated confrontations can come to blows. It is unsettling to imagine office workers fighting, but it happens. OSHA reports that in 2017, there were at least 458 incidents of workplace violence.
5. Repeating the Same Motions
Most jobs require a continued, similar set of physical motions. Many office workers, particularly those who use keyboards and mice, develop carpal tunnel syndrome. When repeated motions cause injury, the result is an MDS, or musculoskeletal disorder. Essentially, as the body repeats the same motions over and over, the muscles and bones involved can wear down. Repetitive motion injuries have a wide range of symptoms. They are present in aching joints and muscles. There can be tingling or numbness in the affected area. At its most extreme, an MDS could permanently impair motion.
Remaining sedentary is, in its own way, a repetitive motion. Staying locked in one seated position while you work can have a degenerative effect on the muscles, spine, shoulders, hips, and so on.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
Many employers pay into workers’ compensation, an insurance plan that protects workers who are hurt on the job. Unfortunately, like all insurance, workers’ comp often uses any excuse to deny necessary benefits. For this reason, you should consult a legal professional throughout every step of the process. Have them look over your initial application. They can help make sure it is filled out correctly, and they can give you tips on the language. A well-written application can convince your insurer that compensation is needed and justified. If you are denied, your lawyer can help with the appeal process.
If you are denied after appeal, or if you were not protected by workers’ comp in the first place, you may need to file a lawsuit. Ultimately, employers have an obligation to keep their workers safe. If medical bills are piling up, and you are missing work, you need help covering the cost. In a personal injury suit, you can receive damages for your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering caused by your employer.
If you need help receiving compensation for your workplace injuries, contact our firm today. With years of experience, we can help hold responsible parties accountable. You can fill out an online contact form here, or call (817) 591-4222.