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Workers’ compensation: Office environments pose many hazards

| Feb 12, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Hazards exist in all work environments, and although some are unique to the particular industry, others are more general, and they threaten the safety and health of all — from construction sites to offices. Employers in all sectors in North Carolina are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, and for carrying workers’ compensation insurance to provide injured workers with financial assistance. The risks to which office workers are exposed must not be ignored.

Along with fire and electricity hazards, offices pose several common safety hazards that can be mitigated to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. Just like on construction sites, falls are the most frequent causes of injuries in office environments. This could involve falling from a ladder or other elevation to reach an out-of-range object, slipping on a wet spot on the floor, tripping over randomly places objects or cabinet drawers that were left open. Such falls can cause bone fractures, torn, strained or sprained muscles and even traumatic brain injuries.

Musculoskeletal disorders can result from overexertion in workers who have to lift, carry, pull or push heavy objects like office equipment and boxes of printer paper. Poorly designed or cramped office spaces cause collision hazards and unsecured, overloaded or badly stacked shelves or cabinets can topple over and fall onto workers. The risks of illnesses are significant in office environments, and proper housekeeping is crucial to ensure cleanliness of work surfaces, kitchen areas, bathrooms and more.

These are the injuries that lead to many workers’ compensation claims filed by office workers in North Carolina. Employees are typically eligible for benefits if they report the injuries to their employers in a timely manner. Many injured workers choose to use the services of an experienced workers’ comp attorney to navigate the benefits claims for them. Compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages for those whose injuries caused temporary disabilities.