Office Workers

Not many people would consider office workers to be at a high risk for occupational injuries or illnesses, but the fact is, a corporate environment can be a very risky place to occupy for eight or more hours a day. The physical environment of an office, its ergonomic design, and the risks of exposure to toxic chemicals and workplace hazards leave office workers at serious risk. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to New Jersey workers that suffer work-related injuries and illnesses, but claiming these benefits and proving that they are directly related to the office environment can be difficult.

Common Office Hazards

There are many different types of workplace hazards in an office environment. Including:

Office Design:

  • Lack of ergonomic office furniture that results in over stretching and poor posture
  • Poor ventilation
  • Extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • High noise levels
  • Poorly designed workstations
  • Overcrowding
  • Poor lighting

Toxic Chemicals in an Office Environment:

  • Acids
  • Caustic substances
  • Cleaning products and solvents
  • Disinfectants
  • Mildew removers and chlorine bleach
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Petroleum products
  • Photocopier toner
  • Electromagnetic exposure

Physical Hazards:

  • Cords and debris in walkways
  • Unstable filing cabinets and lighting fixtures
  • Objects falling from elevated surfaces
  • Uneven or wet floor surfaces
  • Falls from elevated surfaces and ladders
  • Heavy lifting
  • Repetitive task injuries
  • Prolonged sitting or standing
  • Extended time on video display terminals and computer monitors
  • Poor equipment maintenance

 Working Conditions:

  • Stress relating to multi-tasking and overload of word duties
  • Workplace violence
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Extended overtime
  • Lack of breaks and lunch periods
  • Poor management that results in anxiety and depression
  • Failure to provide strong workplace policies that lead to poor interpersonal relationships among colleagues

Common Office Injuries and Illnesses

There are a multitude of injuries and illnesses that result from the hazards in an office environment.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Degenerative joint disorders
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back and spinal disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory ailments and diseases
  • Cancer
  • Sleep disorders and fatigue
  • Communicable diseases, such as rashes, flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis from unsanitary conditions

Preventing Office Injuries and Illnesses

There are many strategies and workplace procedures that can prevent many office injuries and illnesses, including:

  • Use of ergonomic chairs and office equipment to promote proper posture and relieve stress on the body
  • Proper training on how to lift heavy objects
  • Routine maintenance and repair of office equipment
  • Stabilization of office furniture
  • Sanitize communal areas, such as restrooms, break rooms, and lunch areas
  • Provide workers with regular breaks and at least 30 minutes for meals during an eight-hour work shift
  • Avoid over scheduling and excessive overtime
  • Keep office walkways free from debris and electric cords
  • Rotate work tasks to avoid repetitive injuries
  • Repair uneven floor surfaces and torn carpeting
  • Provide proper lighting, especially in stairwells and in work areas
  • Ensure workers have human resource personnel to address interpersonal relationships
  • Establish strong workplace policies and train managers and supervisors to recognize discrimination and harassment
  • Provide access to employee assistance programs

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Office Injuries or Illness

All New Jersey employers must provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance that will provide payment for medical bills, hospitalizations, therapies, medical and diagnostic testing, and lost wages resulting from a workplace injury or illness.  There are strict filing deadlines and medical evidence required for a successful Workers’ Compensation claim.

Proving that an injury or illness is directly related to a victim’s office work environment can be difficult. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure that all deadlines are met, all medical evidence is present, and that the legal rights of the injured worker are protected.

South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Help Injured Office Workers Claim Compensation

If you suffered an office injury or illness, contact the South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP today. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you rightfully deserve. Call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.

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