If you work in an office or in higher-level administration, you probably don’t think all that much about getting hurt at work. After all, it’s not like you’re working with heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals.
However, white collar workers aren’t entirely immune from on-the-job injuries. In fact, quite a few people experience injuries related to prolonged desk work and computer use, and some of the common injuries suffered by white collar workers can be just as debilitating as injuries sustained during manual labor.
You may be left in severe pain, and unable to do your job while recovering from your injuries. In these cases, filing a worker’s compensation claim can help you recover from your injuries by covering expenses such as medical bills and lost income from time off.
Below, we provide a rundown of common on-the-job injuries sustained by white collar workers, and what you can do to help prevent these injuries.
Sitting at a desk for hours on end places stress on your spine, which can ultimately result in injuries such as a herniated disc or pinched nerve. You may also experience muscular pain such as stiffness and cramping. These injuries often make it difficult to engage in everyday activities such as working, sleeping, or exercising.
You can help prevent back pain by maintaining good posture, lifting heavy objects properly, making sure your workstation is positioned properly, and switching your position often if you must sit for a prolonged period.
Neck pain can result from being bent over at your desk reading books and writing things down, or angling your head to read a computer screen all day. These actions may result in injuries such as a pinched nerve, or muscular pain and discomfort.
To prevent neck pain, maintain good posture, make sure that your work station is positioned in such a way as to prevent straining, and shift positions often if you are working at your desk for long periods.
Carpal tunnel occurs due to compression of the median nerve as it passes through the hand. This usually occurs due to swelling in your wrist. The median nerve is located on the palm side of your hand, and provides sensation to your thumb, index finger, long finger, and part of the ring finger. Carpal tunnel results in pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling in these areas.
To prevent carpal tunnel, you can break up repetitive hand movements such as typing by taking short breaks, and consider wearing a wrist brace to prevent compression of the median nerve.
Office workers often experience vision problems such as blurred vision, dry eyes, and eye strain. Common culprits for vision problems include computer monitors and improper workplace lighting.
To prevent vision problems, place filters on overhead lighting to diffuse the light, and dim overhead lighting if necessary. You can also decrease the brightness of your computer monitor, and look away from your monitor every few minutes while you’re working. Placing a lamp on your desk for looking at printed documents may also help prevent eyestrain.
Migraines and Headaches
Migraines and headaches can occur as a consequence of back and neck injuries, or something environmental in your workplace such as bright lighting or allergens. Migraines and headaches can often cause severe and debilitating pain that necessitates costly medical treatment and time off from work.
As you can see, regardless of the nature of your job, on-the-job injuries are common, and can result in debilitating pain that compromises everyday activities. Thankfully, your employer has a responsibility to maintain a reasonably safe working environment, and to provide treatment for any on-the-job injuries – whether you’re working construction or sitting at a desk all day.
If you are injured on the job, filing a worker’s compensation claim can help you recover from your injuries faster and address financial consequences of your injuries, but sometimes legal help is necessary to get the compensation you truly deserve. If you feel like you are being unfairly treated, do not be afraid to reach out.