Work Injuries at your desk
Work injuries are often associated with labour based jobs such as construction due to the manual nature of the job in hand. Lifting, pulling and operating heavy machinery presents many risks for workers if they are not trained and monitored correctly. However work related injuries can also be found in office environments as well. The difference between blue collar (manual work) and white collar (office work) is only in the way that the injury is acquired, injuries can still be just as common.
Below we have highlighted some of the common injuries found in the office workplace with details on how they can affect the individual and how they can be prevented.
Repetitive Strain Injury also known as RSI, is an injury that affects the elbows and lower forearms including the wrists. The term covers all work related upper limb disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tennis Elbow and Frozen Shoulder. RSI can cause stiffness, tingling and numbness in the hands. RSI symptoms often present themselves when a task is being performed, in office work this can be typing or secretarial duties such as data inputting. It is common for the symptoms to worsen while the task is being performed and for the symptoms to alleviate once the task has been completed.
Cumulative Back Injuries also known as CBI affects two different areas of the back, the upper and lower parts of the back. Upper back injuries start from the top of the spine and then travel down to the bottom of the rib cage, common symptoms are numbness and swelling of the back along with the possibility of pain in the upper arms. Lower back injuries are found from the bottom of the rib cage to the bottom of the spine, symptoms are different from upper back pain with more of a sharp pain possibly due to slip disks and pain in the upper part of the legs. CBI injuries in an office environment are commonly caused by incorrect posture and repetitive tasks. For example if someone is incorrectly positioned at their desk throughout the day and are stooped over this can cause an injury to the back.
Occupational Asthma can be found in the office environment due to poor ventilation or faulty ventilation equipment. As an example if there is damp or mould in the ventilation system the airborne particles are then spread around the office, in this circumstance this can lead to an individual’s asthma becoming aggravated. Symptoms of Occupational Asthma include breathlessness, wheezing and constricted chest movements. Symptoms often subside once the individual has left the working environment for a substantial period of time.
If you have experienced any of the above issues we strongly suggest you notify your employer of your injury and visit your GP who will be able to provide you with a diagnosis along with treatment. Once you have visited your GP you can call Roberts Jackson Solicitors on 0808 115 6102 and we will be able to give you free legal advice on the next steps to take.