While people in California can appreciate that certain occupations, such as those in the construction and manufacturing industry, present dangers to workers, it is important not to underestimate the workplace injuries that a person in a white-collar job could suffer. First, there is physical and mental fatigue. Heavy work loads that are unreasonable could cause a worker to become exhausted, leading to impaired judgment. It could also make it difficult for a worker to pay attention to details and follow instructions.
Stress-related injuries could also be suffered on-the-job. Job security, financial security and relationship problems can cause a person to feel like they are facing either a real or perceived threat. This can make workers more apt to make mistakes or suffer stress-related medical conditions, such as hypertension, heart attacks or strokes.
Many offices have breakrooms and kitchens. These are common areas where an employee could slip on spills or freshly mopped or waxed floors. Trips over worn down or torn carpeting can also cause injuries. Poor lighting in hallways and stairwells also make it difficult to see what is underfoot, leading to falls.
Many offices have tall furnishings, such as filing cabinets or bookshelves. If these furnishings are not securely anchored to the wall, they could fall, striking a worker. Having to lift heavy file boxes or other supplies onto high shelves can also cause back injuries.
Some office jobs require a person to be typing at a computer almost all day. This could cause carpal tunnel syndrome, an extremely painful condition in which pressure on the median nerve affects the worker’s fingers, wrists and hands. Co-workers who bump into one another can also be injured in the process. This can happen if someone quickly or unexpectedly opens a door or goes around a corner too fast. Collisions with objects, such as an open filing drawer, can also cause injuries.
You do not need to work at a construction site or manufacturing plant to suffer a workplace injury. Office workers can also be injured on-the-job. When this happens, they may want to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the injury, in addition to medical benefits, a person might pursue temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits or death benefits in the case of a fatality.