How hard is it to sit at a desk all day? Ask any office worker and they’ll tell you that it’s harder than you think. Office work may not seem to be as taxing as other, more physically oriented jobs, but there are injuries common to office workers that are covered by workers’ compensation. Sitting in one position all day, cradling a phone to your ear, performing repetitive tasks such as stuffing envelopes or even entering data takes a toll on workers, causing a number of ailments that can hinder the ability to perform at work. Office-related injuries can be quite serious, requiring ongoing care, physical rehabilitation, and the need to limit activities. Ongoing or severe injuries can result in permanent disabilities, preventing the injured party from working or doing the things in life they once enjoyed. If you work in an office, there are some inherent risks you need to be aware of, as well as ways in which you can avoid being injured.
On-The-Job Injuries Affecting Office Workers
Administrative staff, receptionists, clerks, and executives; all are required to perform a variety of tasks centered mainly at their desks. Office workers spend a good part of each day working on the computer, whether it’s answering emails, entering data, or overseeing and performing various tasks, duties, and responsibilities related to their business. Over the last 20 years, the medical community has voiced concerns over inadequate and unhealthy office environments, and the potential for injury among office workers. At the same time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported increases in the number of office-related injuries due specifically to poor posture and positioning. How you sit in relation to your keyboard and computer screen can affect your health, and result in a number of injuries and medical conditions that are both painful and potentially debilitating. Common job related injuries occurring in office workers include:
- Muscle strains and lower back issues;
- Problems with the neck and spinal cord;
- Debilitating headaches and decreases in vision due to eye strain;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Shoulder, elbow, and joint injuries; and
All of these injuries require the need for prompt medical care, and may end up resulting in surgery and the need for physical therapy. Left untreated, these types of injuries can result in permanent, life altering disabilities.
Preventing Injuries at the Office
Office managers can help prevent many of these injuries by making sure their office is designed to be ergonomically correct. Ergonomics relates to the ability of people to function safely and without risk of injury while seated at their desks and performing routine tasks associated with their jobs. By investing in ergonomically correct office furnishings and equipment, companies can save themselves money by decreasing worker injury and workers’ compensation claims. Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of office injuries:
- Adjust your desk chair so that your knees are at hip level and your back is supported.
- Keep frequently used objects, such as your mouse and phone, close by to avoid having to reach for them.
- Use a telephone headset.
- Keep your computer monitor arm’s length away, and make sure you have adequate lighting.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’re an office worker and have suffered a job related injury, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve for medical expenses and lost wages. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we are prepared to help.