Office work is often seen as safe compared to manual labor. But office workers face their own threat of injury and illness. Massachusetts companies employ about 2.3 million office workers. These workers suffered about 1,700 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2011 that disrupted their ability to perform their jobs, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
When an injury or illness arises on the job, it’s important to get legal help right away. By contacting a lawyer who focuses on Massachusetts workers’ compensation cases or work-related personal injury lawsuits, you can learn of your legal rights and the options you can pursue for compensation.
What Are the Most Common Office Worker Hazards in Massachusetts?
Many industries involve office workers. These include the information services, financial activities, health services and educational sectors. They also include professional and business services, leisure services and government agencies.
These workers face the risk of injuries that can result in days away from work, job transfer or restricted work duties. These risks include:
- Overexertion / bodily reaction injuries from bending – Office workers who must lift boxes of office supplies frequently suffer pulled muscles, back strain or neck injury.
- Falls – Power cords, loose office supplies and materials, wet floors or slippery stairs can create a hazard that results in tripping and falling to the floor or to a lower level in an office building.
- Bodily reaction injury from sitting – Office workers in sedentary desk jobs often sit for long periods of time. This can contribute to risk of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke.
- Repetitive motion injury (carpal tunnel syndrome) – Continuous or long-term pressure on the median nerve in the wrists, which supplies feeling to the hands and fingers, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Office workers who continually type on a computer may develop carpal tunnel syndrome if their work station is not ergonomically designed.
What Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits Can Office Workers Expect?
After a workplace injury in an office, you could be eligible for temporary total disability, partial disability or permanent and total incapacity benefits. Employee supplemental workers’ compensation benefits are determined by several factors, including the injured office worker’s average weekly wage and their degree of incapacity from their workplace injury.
Can an Injured Officer Worker File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries from an office job, a worker may also have the basis for a lawsuit against the manufacturer of unsafe machinery or equipment that caused the workplace injury. An equipment manufacturer may be responsible for the injury or illness if the company’s equipment lacked proper safeguards, had a defective design or caused one to be exposed to toxic chemicals. Such legal claims are known as third-party lawsuits. These claims may result in additional compensation for injured office workers.
An Experienced Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Provide Help
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system requires employers to have insurance that covers employees who are injured or disabled by workplace injuries or illnesses, including accidents in offices. All employees, including office workers, have a right to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses.
However, office workers and other employees often have trouble obtaining the benefits they need and deserve after a workplace accident. For instance, an employer’s insurance company may deny that the injury arose from a workplace accident. That’s why it is crucial to get legal help if you have been injured on the job.
Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., is a workers’ compensation law firm with almost 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals injured in the course of their employment. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, we help injured workers across the state as well as workers in Rhode Island and New Hampshire.