Work-Related Injuries and Office Workers

by James M. Hoffmann on May. 27, 2015

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Employment 

Summary: It is a common misconception that work-related injuries only occur at high risk workplaces, such as in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

The truth is that even office workers and professionals are prone to work-related injuries. The high incidence of work-related injuries among office workers can be attributed to the increased use of technology such as computers. Repetitive trauma caused by prolonged and excessive use can have an adverse affect on the musculoskeletal system and cause long-term damage.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Modern office workers are responsible for exceedingly large amounts of work, at faster and higher production rates, and they may have to work in unnatural positions for prolonged periods. Workers at all levels in an office, including executives and senior managers, are prone to injuries. Injuries caused by repetitive trauma often require expensive medical treatment and an injured worker may have to miss work for longer durations compared to injuries suffered in other workplace accidents. Repetitive stress injuries are responsible for almost 40 percent of workers' compensation claims.

Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

General office work, computer-related and otherwise, is the most common cause of musculoskeletal disorders among workers. Examples of soft tissue injuries suffered by office workers include:

  • tendonitis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • epicondylitis
  • nerve injuries
  • pain and discomfort
  • shoulder bursitis
  • swelling and numbness in affected area
  • fatigue
  • pain in neck and lower back
  • joint stiffness

Musculoskeletal disorders can occur in all types of office settings and these injuries tend to worsen with time. The lack of motion can decrease circulation to the affected part and aggravate a pre-existing injury. Office-related injuries may be a result from any of the following:

  • typing
  • repeated strain
  • repetitive motion
  • constant overuse
  • cumulative trauma
  • prolonged exertion
  • bending
  • flipping through files
  • reaching
  • mechanical contact stress
  • lifting heavy objects
  • mouse and monitor use

Additional Work-Related Injuries

Some professionals such as engineers, architects, and sales representatives have to constantly travel as a part of their job. As they spend more time traveling, they are at a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents and also nerve damage such as sciatica. Any worker who suffers an injury at work, including in an office, may be entitled to benefits under the Missouri workers' compensation system. All repetitive stress injuries and occupational illnesses are covered by the workers' compensation system. An injured office worker may also claim benefits if the job has caused an aggravation of a pre-existing injury.

If you are facing any difficulty in receiving the workers' compensation benefits that you deserve, consult an experienced Missouri workers' compensation attorney.

The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann

(314) 361-4300

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