At-work injuries are common in dangerous jobs, but what about corporate America’s employees? Does a sea of cubicle workers face any risks at their desk?
Is an injury that an office worker gets treated the same as an injury a construction worker gets? Here are potential office injuries and whether they can be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
One of the more common issues an office worker may face is slow to develop. Carpal tunnel is actually a passageway in the wrist and inside palms that contains bones, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
Using your fingers or hand in a repetitive motion too often may pinch a nerve in the carpal tunnel passageway. This can affect all of the nerves in this passageway, causing your entire wrist and hand to feel pain, numbness and tingling.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common and treatable. The condition can resolve within a few months. It is also covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation law. The only challenge is that you’ll have to prove that the nature of your work caused or aggravated the injury.
Eye strain is typical of office workers who spend extended periods of time looking at a computer screen or another digital device. These employees may experience:
- Sore, tired, dry or itchy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Soreness in the neck back or shoulders
You may be able to receive workers’ compensation if eye strain leads to other problems that require medical attention, such as chronic headaches or migraines. However, it’s better to discuss ways to prevent this with your employer. One way to reduce eye strain is to practice the 20/20/20 rule.
Migraines are usually described as extreme headaches. You can tell a migraine from a simple headache because the pain you experience will be so great that you may feel nauseous, become dizzy or experience blindness.
This condition can be extremely debilitating and can even qualify as a disability. Because it’s difficult to prove that work is causing your migraines, a workers’ compensation claim is likely to be denied. However, you may be able to receive other benefits and accommodations for the condition under federal law.
One of the most common causes of chronic low back pain is sitting for extended periods of time. If your back pain is preventing you from carrying out your tasks at work and requires treatment, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical profession for the matter.
If your work has caused or aggravated a back injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation to treat it.
If you are required to travel for work, an injury you receive during your travels may be covered by workers’ compensation if you received the injury while doing a task that was work-related.
Even though the entire trip is related to work, an injury you receive while eating dinner would not count unless your employer required you to attend the particular dinner for work-related purposes.