Common Injuries for At-Home Desk Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new challenge for employers with common injuries for at-home desk workers that might be eligible for worker’s compensation. While essential businesses face the possibility that their workers could contract the virus while at work, other businesses with employees working at home face the possibility of worker’s compensation for certain injuries.
Employees required to work from home could exacerbate a back injury from a bad desk chair while another working-from-home employee could trip over a cord and break a wrist. And just as there is risk working in an office, an at-home employee runs the risk of remaining in a compromised apartment complex with recorded COVID-19 cases or contracting the disease from a family member. What are the rules for who receives worker’s compensation?
Reports reveal that over half of home workers experience physical pain due to their poor at-home office set-up. People forced to work from home suddenly are making do with whatever they have, which means they are working from couches, beds, kitchen tables, and other less ergonomically designed spaces.
A report released by Ascenti after the onslaught of the pandemic in the UK reveals that 49% of at-home workers experience discomfort in their backs, necks, shoulders, and hands. With the rise of working at-home due to the coronavirus, work-related pain is expected to rise.
Most Popular At-Home Work Stations
- 72% reportedly used their sofa
- 56% opted for their bed
- 47% used a traditional desk
With so many people working from home all of a sudden, workers must improvise work stations quickly. Employees with employers that are willing to help provide tools for the at-home work station are more likely to be satisfied and help to improve their employer’s reputation.
An ergonomic workspace is crucial to helping employees reduce pain and prevent injury, increasing productivity.
Common Injuries for Desk Workers
Sitting for eight hours can cause a number of injuries in workers, and these common injuries can be a reason for employees to seek worker’s compensation. Beyond the regular aches and pains, a number of common injuries exist for desk workers including back, neck, and eye strain. But, when a worker is working from home, are these injuries eligible for workers’ compensation?
Slipping or Falling Injuries
Desk workers are actually more likely to suffer from an injury from slipping or falling than non-office workers. The injuries often occur when the worker slips or falls and tries to catch themselves with an outstretched hand. Offices can have plenty of potential causes for a slip or fall from loose carpeting to bad lighting.
Low Back Pain
As the leading cause of disability worldwide, low back pain accounts for an estimated 26 million days of work lost every year. Hours of sitting at a desk tighten the muscles around the pelvis, creating lower back pain. Lower back pain can become a chronic problem affecting every part of your life.
Most desk workers don’t practice great posture while sitting at their desks, and this slowly causes neck pain or tension between the shoulder blades. Also called Forward Head Posture, this refers to the rounding of the upper back and neck so that the head leans forward. This often causes migraines, muscle spasms, and decreased lung capacity.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Wrists are used in a lot of capacities throughout the day from typing to cleaning to lifting and so much more. And it can be very easy for this small body part to become overused, causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This diagnosis is often defined as a wrist strain that is characterized by prickling, burning, numbness, or weakness. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve.
Desk workers tend to spend hours working with digital screens, which taxes their eyesight. A report shared that 60% of American adults reported digital eye strain. Their symptoms varied from soreness to blurred vision to headaches. While this common injury may not seem like a big deal, it can eventually impact eyesight.
The onset of COVID-19 and rapid change to at-home working has created a whole new realm for determining the eligibility for certain situations for workers’ compensation. Naturally, every state has different standards. But it will be difficult for workers and employers to recognize when an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation.
Not sure if your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation? Contact Carrillo Injury Law today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to find out your possible legal solutions!