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Recognizing and Preventing Common Office Workplace Injuries

Jan 23, 2015 - Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Most office workers do not see their jobs as dangerous. Most certainly do not face the severe hazards that construction workers or miners face on a daily basis. Still, the fact remains that countless employment-related injuries and illnesses occur regularly in offices. Even though Alabama workers’ compensation can provide financial relief for these workplace injuries, accident prevention is a better choice, whenever possible.

Recognizing Common Types of Office Injuries

Danger does not discriminate. An impressive executive office in Tuscaloosa may have as many hazards as a row of cubicles in Birmingham, so all workers need to be able to spot risky situations anywhere. While a workplace injury may qualify for compensation, an experienced lawyer would say that the best workplace accident is one that never happens. Some good advice comes from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which identifies a number of common hazards, including the following:

  • Falls: Surprisingly, office workers sustain injuries from falls more than twice as frequently as workers who do not work in offices. Sometimes, they are victims of the environment, such as when they trip on loose carpeting, slip on wet floors or do not see steps due to poor lighting. However, they can easily cause their own injuries when they choose a chair over a step-stool, pile items on the floor or even leave the bottom desk drawer open. To help prevent these accidents, workers need to watch their own practices and notify their employers when they spot other hazards in the workplace.
  • Lifting injuries: Many workers do not observe well-known techniques for lifting and setting down objects. These people can avoid potentially devastating injuries and chronic back problems by using their legs to do the work when lifting books, stacks of folders and other relatively lightweight office items. Just as important, they need to know when to ask for help.
  • Being struck by objects: Anything from office supplies falling off of high shelves in the supply room to bumping into objects or people can cause serious injuries. Anyone who notices precariously-placed items in the workplace should avoid those areas and notify their employers to correct the issue. Similarly, company management should arrange to move bump hazards to safe locations. In many cases, however, workers can easily reduce their own risk of injury by remaining alert as they move around the office.

Many Injured Office Workers Have a Right to Compensation

Office injuries can easily stem from negligence on the part of the employer or the worker, but questions of fault typically have no bearing on Alabama workers’ compensation claims. Still, things can go wrong that prevent employees from obtaining the full compensation they deserve.

In some cases, the employer can claim that a worker intentionally caused an accident or that the injuries were caused by intoxication. At other times, compensation can end prematurely under the presumption that a worker is in a suitable condition to return to work. Workers do not generally have the power needed to fight employers or insurance companies in these situations. A Tuscaloosa workplace injury lawyer can help level the playing field to pursue the full compensation they deserve.

Additional Resources:

Recognizing hidden dangers: 25 steps to a safer office, June 1, 2011, Safety + Health, National Safety Council

Other Blog Entries:

UAB Workplace Safety Center Works to Prevent On the Job Accidents, Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation/Work Injury Blog

Work Accidents in Tuscaloosa and Elsewhere Targeted through Month-Long NSC Campaign, Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation/Work Injury Blog

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