Top 5 Office Injuries

Computer cables, slippery tile, carpet wrinkles, top-heavy filing cabinets … Office work involves its own unique set of potential accidents and injuries, some more common than others.

1. Falls

According to the Center for Disease Control, not only are falls at the office the most common injury, office workers are in fact 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling fall than non-office workers. The most common cause for worker’s-comp related falls at the office include:

  • Tripping over an open desk drawer, electrical cords, wires, loose carpeting, or objects in hallways.
  • Bending or reaching for something while seated in an unstable or wheeled chair.
  • Using a chair instead of a ladder.
  • Slipping and falling on wet floors.
  • Falls caused by inadequate lighting.

2. Strains

The typical office job usually doesn’t involve heavy lifting on a regular basis, leaving workers more susceptible to strained backs, shoulders, and necks when lifting cartons of copy machine or printer paper, a heavy box from Fed Ex, or even a large, tottering stack of files.

3. Collisions with Objects

Bumping up against sharp or heavy objects—or having those objects strike a worker—are common causes of lacerations and even concussions among U.S. office workers. Some common causes of compensated injuries include:

  • Bumping into doors, desks, filing cabinets, and open drawers.
  • Striking against open file drawers when standing up or bending down.
  • Being struck by top-heavy (or over-balanced) filing cabinets in which two or more drawers were opened at the same time or in which the file drawer was pulled out too far.
  • Being struck by poorly stacked objects falling from overhead shelves or other storage.

4. Caught in or between Two Objects

Problems with photo copiers and printers can cause more than just irritated mumbles and lost productivity. These common office antagonists are also frequently to blame for injuring the innocent workers trying to un-jam, reload, or simply operate the machines. Injuries requiring medical attention are frequently involve fingers, clothing, hair, or jewelry that become trapped or pinched in the machinery. Broken or injured fingers are also commonly reported accidents, often injured when caught in doors, drawers, or windows.

5. Repetitive Stress Injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common occurrence for workers engaged in repetitive motion activities that put pressure on the median nerve, causing numbness and pain in the fingers, wrists, and hands. Computer programmers, data operators and analysts, graphic designers, writers, and office assistants are at particular risk for developing this condition.

If you are injured at work or is due to the negligence of another, be sure to contact Styka & Styka at (312) 357-8000 for information on your available options.

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