The words "workplace injury" generally conjure up images of mishaps at construction sites, oil rigs, machine shops or other "hard-core," physically-oriented job locations. The fact of the matter is, however, that these "high risk" vocations by no means hold a monopoly on workplace injuries. The office environment has its own share of safety hazards. And while these may be more subtle, they are just as real, and have the potential of creating injuries that are life-long and detrimental to our ability to earn a living.
Consider the following examples:
Prolonged exposure to computer screens (which, needless to say, is a staple element in today’s office environment) can prove very harmful to vision. Staring at computer displays can dry eyes out, create undue exposure to dust and other microscopic debris and cause significant eyestrain. Further, office lighting is often not terribly helpful in regard to reducing computer glare, and can, in fact, play a hand in exacerbating vision problems.
Poor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality (what is termed IAQ) has been connected to a variety of employee health issues, including allergies, asthma, headaches, and eye problems. Many factors affect IAQ, including temperature, office overcrowding, pesticides, and construction or remodeling.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
A large percentage of injuries which occur in the workplace, both white and blue collar, are connected with repetitive motion. Performing the same action over and over, such as pulling a lever or using a certain tool, can be the cause of a variety of work-related injuries. While typing or carrying out other repetitive office functions may not appear strenuous, their negative impact on joints, tendons and muscles is very real.
Pulls, Trips and Falls
Power cords, slippery floors, uneven carpet, heavy boxes, poorly constructed office furniture…all these are accidents waiting to happen. A little negligence on the part of an employer can have devastating results. Every year thousands of employees learn this lesson the hard way, as a simple slip or trip results in an injury.
Safety and prevention are the best policy, but when employers fail to take the necessary steps to keep their workers safe, it may be time to consult a personal injury lawyer like the professionals at Clearfield & Kofsky. An employee should not have to sacrifice his or her well-being simply to earn a living.
Remember, workplace injuries are not just reserved for the world of jackhammers, forklifts and cinderblocks. The office can be just as harmful to a worker’s health. Be aware of the hazards around you, and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.