Not many people in Minnesota understand the injury risks that exist in the world in which technology office workers spend their days. Dexterity involving hand, wrist and arm movements can be repetitious for many of these workers, and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome form the basis of many workers' compensation benefits claims. If you are a victim of this condition, the severity will determine whether you can return to work without having surgery.
To prove that stress-related occupational injuries resulted from work could be harder to accomplish than when injuries are evident, such as fractures, burns and other visible injuries. However, offices pose a number of other non-stress-related injury hazards that could lead to debilitating workplace injuries.
Even in office environments that are considered relatively safe, there is always the potential for an employee to slip or trip over something, resulting in a fall that could produce a myriad of injuries. Typical hazards that you may face in your office include the following:
- Slippery floors -- The cause of these can be high-gloss polishing or spills that are not mopped up immediately.
- Tripping -- Power cords trailing across the floor, frayed or lose carpets, and out-of-place objects in walkways are known trip hazards that can lead to severe fall injuries.
- Falls from furniture -- Using tables, chairs or other pieces of furniture in place of a stepladder to reach something on an overhead shelf is looking for trouble. You never know what you may strike on your way down if you should fall. Hitting your head against a hard object could lead to traumatic brain injuries.
During any given day, you might have to lift and carry boxes of copying paper, help move a heavy desk, carry computer monitors or towers, or take delivery of heavy parcels or packages from clients or vendors. Along with soft tissue sprains and strains, you could suffer injuries to your shoulders, knees or your back. By applying the following lifting techniques, you may prevent severe injuries:
- Use your legs -- By squatting rather than bending, you can keep stress off of your back muscles by using the strength of your legs to lift the load.
- Keep your back straight -- Avoid bending or twisting your back while lifting an object.
- Hold items close -- Use the support of both hands -- the entire hand not only the fingers -- to pick up an object, and avoid holding it away from the body.
- Use the same techniques when setting objects down -- Once again, keep the item close to your body, donâ€™t twist and focus on using your leg muscles rather than your back.
Other injury threats in your office
The list of inanimate objects that can cause injuries in an office environment is endless. You might want to look out for the following everyday hazards:
- Desk corners -- A desk that is only slightly out of line can be a trip hazard, and if you collide with its corner, it can cause a nasty bruise.
- Drawers and doors -- These can often lead to strains, sprains cuts and bruises of the hands, arms and wrists.
- Filing and shelving units -- Careless stacking and unbalanced loading can tip heavy loads onto you.
- Copy Machines -- Avoid sticking your fingers into copy machines to clear away paper jams.
While these hazards may seem insignificant when compared to those faced by employees in other industries like construction, the consequences can be equally devastating. As a worker in a technology office, you have the same right to workers' compensation benefits as those in high-risk occupations. Your medical expenses and lost income will be covered by the benefits if your claim is successful. You are also entitled to seek professional guidance and support for the navigation of your claim.