Office Workers and Repetitive Stress Injuries: The Basics
Some professions are especially prone to workplace hazards that lead to employee injuries. Construction sites and warehouses, for example, may present hazardous work environments even when all safety measures are in place. It may seem surprising that office workers can be injured on the job too, but workers in office buildings may still be just as prone to develop injuries or illnesses.
Repetitive stress injuries are examples of how an office worker may develop a serious injury over time. These injuries rarely occur as the result of a single accident. Instead, repetitive stress injuries result from prolonged and repetitive actions that are essential to the employee’s job. Repetitive stress injuries may take weeks, months, or even years to develop — which is why it can be so difficult to file a workers’ compensation claim successfully. While employees are always encouraged to contact a Palm Beach County workers’ compensation lawyer for more information about their claim, here are a few examples of repetitive stress injuries that commonly occur:
Upper Back Pain
Even though desk jobs are typically not labor-intensive, sedentary jobs have been known to cause significant stress to muscles throughout the arms, neck, and back. Over a long period of time, workers may develop severe pain throughout their upper back. This is especially common for individuals who work at desks for long periods of time.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the more common types of repetitive stress injuries that office workers may encounter. This injury results from constant strain on the muscles in the hands and wrists, and it may become very painful after prolonged stress. Typing on a keyboard is one example of a work-related task that could cause substantial stress in the hands and wrists.
While it may not be the most common type of workers’ compensation injury, it’s possible for office workers to develop eye injuries. Employees who work at computers all day could develop vision problems due to eye strain.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Even though it might be as easy to file a claim for a repetitive stress injury as it is for an accident-related work injury, it’s still possible. The injured employee may be able to procure enough documentation to show the development of the injury, such as employment records, a job description, and relevant medical records. Employers might also keep records of employee injury concerns, so it’s wise for an office employee to alert his or her employer about the potential development of a repetitive stress injury.
Don’t ignore a potential injury compensation claim just because you’re not sure if you can provide adequate documentation of your repetitive stress injury. You work for your compensation rights, and your attorney can do the fighting for you while you focus on rehabilitation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into the difference between a claim or lawsuit.