Often perceived as low risk compared to more physically demanding occupations, office environments present various hazards. These hazards can lead to various injuries among office workers, some of which may have long-term health implications.
While people typically envision workplace injuries in settings like construction sites or manufacturing plants, it’s essential to recognize that offices have unique occupational hazards. Understanding these risks can help to mitigate them and ensure a safer working environment for all employees.
1. Common musculoskeletal injuries
Musculoskeletal injuries, particularly those related to poor ergonomics, are common in an office environment. These include cumulative trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can develop from prolonged computer use without proper wrist support. Other conditions, like back pain and neck strain, can result from inadequate chair support, poor posture and working for extended periods without breaks.
2. Injuries due to slips, trips and falls
While seemingly innocuous, offices can be hotspots for slips, trips and falls, which can cause serious injuries. Loose carpets, cluttered walkways, open drawers and trailing cables present tripping hazards. Wet floors, whether from cleaning or spills, can cause slip-related accidents. Falls can also occur when employees use chairs or other unstable objects to reach high places instead of a proper stepladder.
3. Eye strain and related injuries
Office workers, particularly those who spend long hours in front of a computer screen, are prone to digital eye strain. Symptoms include dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, neck stiffness and shoulder pain. Significant screen exposure without adequate breaks or lighting can lead to permanent eye damage in the long term.
Workplace injuries that occur in office environments require medical care, which workers’ compensation should cover. Unfortunately, many injured employees have to fight for what they are due. If this happens to you, experienced legal guidance can help.