Office Worker Injuries and Georgia Workers’ Compensation
When most people think of a workplace accident they typically envision a construction site or a manufacturing plant accident that involves heavy machinery or materials. While those types of accidents certainly do qualify as workplace accidents, they are not the only way a worker can be injured on the job in Georgia.
A significant percentage of eligible workers’ compensation injuries occur in an office setting. Unfortunately, office workers frequently don’t realize that they have a compensable workers’ compensation injury because of a misunderstanding of what qualifies as a “workplace injury”. If you are a Georgia office worker and have been injured as a result of your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The Georgia workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” system that provides benefits to workers who have been injured while on the job or who become ill as a result of their job. If you qualify, you could receive benefits that cover the treatment of your injury or illness as well as weekly wage replacement benefits. As an office worker you are just as likely to suffer a workplace injury as your construction or manufacturing industry counterpart. Some common workplace injuries suffered by office workers include:
- Falls – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common office injury – and the most dangerous. Officer workers are almost 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling fall injury than their non-officer worker counterpart says the CDC. A fall can be caused by tripping over something, slipping on a wet floor, using a chair to reach something up high, or a variety of other causes.
- Repetitive use injury – Office workers frequently perform the same task over and over again every day, which can cause a “repetitive use” or “overuse” injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome. These injuries can be long-lasting and disabling to the worker.
- Back injuries – Unfortunately, employers often forget that office workers are frequently required to lift boxes and move heavy equipment just like their heavy industry counterparts. It only takes one improper lift of a heavy object to cause a back injury such as a sprain, strain, or herniated disc.
- Struck by object injuries – Clutter in an office isn’t just unsightly, it can be dangerous. An office worker can be seriously injured by a box or dangerous object that falls from a high shelf.
- Noise injuries – Office workers often provide support for noisy manufacturing or construction operations. Although ear protection is usually mandatory for the laborers on the floor or on the construction site, the officer workers who are just a few feet away are forgotten. This noise can cause serious, even permanent, damage to a worker’s ears and hearing loss.
An injured office worker is entitled to the same benefits that any other worker is entitled to if the claim for benefits is approved by the Georgia workers’ compensation system. However, because many office injuries develop over a period of time it may be more difficult to prove that an injury is related to your employment. For this reason, it is best to consult with an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you realize you may have a compensable injury.