What do you think of when you think of the jobs where you’re most likely to get hurt? Dock worker? Commercial fisherman? Construction worker? If you’re like most people, you more than likely don’t immediately think of someone who works in an office on a computer all day. However, despite the fact that these places are statistically a lot safer, most people are surprised to learn just how many risks could be associated with their job.
In fact, desk jobs are particularly prone to a type of injury known as a “repetitive stress” injury, which is an injury that is acquired over years of doing the same small, repetitive action day after day. You may not think that you’re at that much of a risk when you’re typing away on your keyboard, but the truth is you could be at a pretty great risk and not even realize it.
Here are three surprising and unexpected ways in which you could get hurt on the job.
The number one cause of repetitive stress injuries in office environments is bad posture. Slumping over keyboards, straining your neck to see a computer monitor that’s at the wrong height, and plenty of other issues could all gradually contribute to serious health problems. In fact, bad posture has been connected to everything from permanent damage to your wrists and hands to the need for corrective back and neck surgery to fix a sore back and neck.
We’re gradually learning more and more ways in which repetitive stress injuries can come about from office jobs, and significant steps have been taken to try and correct for some of these factors. Offices are finding it prudent to invest in ergonomically-friendly keyboards and monitor stands that put screens at an ideal height. Likewise, taking periodic breaks to rest also greatly helps with muscle fatigue. If you’re uncomfortable with anything about your seating position at work, take it up with your human resources department or your supervisor—you may find that they’re more than willing to get you what you need to fix your posture since it may prevent them from being liable for serious pain and major corrective procedures later on.
Do you work in an office located in a warehouse? What about one that supervises a construction site. These are both areas where loud noises may be common, and even though you might be protected inside your office, you may be surprised to find out just how much that noise can impact you later in life.
Hearing protection is highly recommended for anyone who works in an environment above 75 to decibels. For perspective, that’s roughly the equivalent of how loud a car is from the outside, or the dull roar of city traffic. Factories, noisy restaurants, or even a vacuum cleaner can all exceed this level. While it might not seem like much to deal with every so often, it’s easy to see how years of exposure to that level of noise day after day could lead to issues before long.
Do you know what chemicals are used to clean your office? If you’re like most people, the answer is no. Unless you clean your workspace personally, anyone who has a cleaning crew come in to tidy up after hours more than likely just assumes that what’s being used to disinfect and clean is safe to be around. While that’s largely true, what you may not realize is that some of these chemicals can still have an impact long after the job has been done. This is particularly true for deep-cleaning materials, which are used infrequently, but are considerably stronger.
If you work in an older office, there are additional possible hazards. Older buildings may contain traces of asbestos, a material that was immensely common up through the 70s, but has been linked to a condition known as mesothelioma, which causes scar tissue in the lungs. This usually happens when someone works around a source of asbestos and breathes in the microfibers of the material that are floating through the air. Walls also could contain traces of lead-based paint, which could prove to be toxic if somehow accidentally consumed.If you’ve been injured at work through no fault of your own, contact the Martin County personal injury attorneys from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC and request a consultation to learn more about your rights. Call us at (866) 675-4427 today!