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Injured At Work! The 4 Most Common Office Injuries

When we talk about workplace injuries, the most common hazards that come to mind are the risks faced by construction workers or people in industrial jobs. Few people think about the kind of harm that can be sustained at an office because white-collar workers aren’t exposed to the same high risk working environments as other occupations.

However, working in an office environment doesn’t mean no risk. There are still workplace injuries even in a climate-controlled office that employees are at risk to. Here are the most common ones.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is familiar to any “desk jockey” of the 21st century. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of the joints. It results in muscle strain and discomfort from holding limbs—usually the arms and hands—at a specific position for too many hours of the day.

Carpal tunnel most often manifests from excessive typing or mouse usage. Symptoms include tingling, itching, or burning sensation in the fingers and palms. Limbs “falling asleep” or going numb when sleeping at night, resulting in numbness in the arms when waking up in the morning. If left untreated, this can result in a permanent loss of manual dexterity.

Slips & Falls

While it doesn’t seem likely that people could slip, trip, or fall in an office setting, this can happen all the time. Wires and cabling, for example, are one of the most common culprits, as exposed power cords or other cabling can sometimes be left stretched out on the floor due to the placement of electrical outlets in a room versus the locations of desks with computers on them.

It’s always possible to arrange such cabling around the edges of a room, or even cover them to prevent tripping. These measures, however, cost more money, and sometimes a business doesn’t feel it’s worth it. So it’s not unusual for people to trip and fall on wiring, cords, or other cabling.

Eye Strain

When we concentrate on a screen, the rate at which we blink tends to drop the more we focus. Looking at a bright screen for several hours of the day can cause eyestrain. This is a result of the eyes being too dry from insufficient blinking and prolonged exposure to intense glare, usually coming from the screen. This can eventually not only result in eye discomfort but impact vision with increased sensitivity to light.

Respiratory Issues

As surprising as this may be, despite working in an office setting, this may not always be good for your lungs. Depending on the quality of ventilation in a building, and whether proper filtration is maintained, constant exposure to HVAC air can be unhealthy.

By breathing in poor quality air for eight or more hours of the day, some people can develop respiratory conditions. Those that are already more vulnerable, such as with asthma, may find that they work in a constant state of unhealthiness as a result of poor quality air.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered from injuries at the workplace and it’s not your fault, talk to a workplace injuries lawyer. There may be legal options available to you for compensation.