Office settings may present numerous hazards for employees

Office jobs can also be dangerous and present many ways to get a serious injury. These include falls, carpal tunnel syndrome and back strain.

When people think about workplace accidents, they may consider more dangerous professions, such as construction, trucking and industrial labor. It may not immediately cross one's mind that an employee can get injured at any type of job, from restaurant and retail work to a job that's seemingly low-key, such as secretarial work. This is one of the reasons workers' compensation insurance was set up in Minnesota - to compensate injured employees for their medical bills, lost wages and other losses after a workplace accident.

Office environment hazards

There are many different ways a person can get injured in an office setting, according to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In fact, the injuries that workers face in an office environment tend to be unique from other industries. They include repetitive motion injuries, back pain, eye strain and tripping and falling.

The following scenarios illustrate some of the ways in which an office worker might be injured on the job:

• Many hours spent working on the computer may cause eye strain, especially if the surrounding lighting is poor.

• A lack of ergonomic seating may lead to back pain and chronically sore shoulders.

• Constant typing and other repetitive movements at work may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and related joint and ligament injuries.

• A head injury may result from a book or other heavy object falling from a shelf, or from standing up and bumping into low-hanging cabinets.

• An employee may sustain bruises or lacerations from walking into unprotected workspace corners or sharp office machinery.

• Clutter, electrical cords, floor mats, wet floors or furniture may create a tripping hazard.

In fact, state the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common way for workers in all industries to sustain a serious injury. Many workers fall from a height, such as falling from a ladder, scaffolding structure or stairway. However, a large number of fall accidents occur at floor height. This often happens when a walking surface is cluttered, slippery, unstable or in poor repair.

An advocate in the workers' compensation process

The injuries someone can receive from an office job can be just as devastating as an accident at a more high-risk industry. Many workplace injuries can be disabling or result in long-term care or lengthy recovery. Employees may require physical therapy or surgery from some injuries sustained in an office job. The resulting medical bills may be extensive, and in some cases, the employee misses out on work to recover. It is important to contact a Minnesota attorney with experience in workers' compensation after a workplace injury. An attorney may be able to help you through the complicated claims process or with the steps of filing an appeal if your claim is denied.