Many people assume that office settings are very safe places and, with the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to always ensure a safe and healthy working environment, offices are places where accidents and injuries never occur.
Records from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show otherwise, though, as it registered close to 3 million workplace injuries and illnesses, including those that have occurred in industrial and construction sites, just for the year 2012.
Office injuries do occur for, despite the law that requires employers to ensure a healthy and safe working place for all their employees, there is still a big number of individuals, both from the managerial and rank and file levels, who continue to act negligently or recklessly.
Office settings may be free of hazardous substances, sharp tools and heavy equipment which one would naturally find in construction and industrial sites (which make these workplaces far more dangerous), but these places are almost always never free from obstacles which, though, most are minor, can still cause serious injuries, such as sprains, electrocution, neck, head and/or back injuries and strains (it may be significant to add in this list of injuries the new type of physical harm that so many office employees are now suffering from: repetitive strain injuries, which is damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves due to the performance of the same action over and over again).
Repetitive strain injuries is most common among people working in assembly lines and those whose work is confined to using computer keyboards, such as computer encoders, online chatters, and so forth. There are many other causes of injuries that affect and hurt many other employees, including:
- Trips, Slips, or Falls – this is the number one cause of office injuries in the nation and, though, it may appear to be but a minor type of accident, most of its effects are not (minor). Many incidences of trips, slips or falls have resulted to bone fractures or severe back injuries that disable a person. These accidents are, in turn, usually due to a desk drawer that’s been left open, loose electrical cords, bending while on a non-sturdy chair, reaching for a high item using a chair or a stack of boxes instead of a ladder, uneven carpeting, insufficient lighting, slipping on a wet floor, an item on the table (such as a lamp shade or a calculator) falling off and causing someone to trip, etc.
- Overexertion and Strains – this is usually due to an incorrect way of lifting large and/or heavy objects
- Electrical Wiring –messy heaps of computer wires or extension cords running across hallways are always sources of risk to everyone in the office; some employees, though, just never seem to care about the possible dangers these pose
- Noise or Unwanted Sound – many of those who just love to chat would never accept that their voices or conversation with someone else is a cause of major distraction, annoyance or interference, especially to those engaged in mental activities, such as researching and writing. Noise can affect the quality of performance by increasing errors in activities wherein mental concentration is essential. Drowning unwanted noise through music from a headphone may result to unnoticed dangers, though, to the person bothered by the noise
- Poor Indoor Ventilation, Air Quality, and Improper Lighting – ventilation, air and lighting are always major factors when making work conducive. Situating an employee in an office spot that is too cold or warm enough to make him/her perspire (while all the rest feel the opposite temperature) can result to an illness – this is nothing more than failure in placing air-conditioning systems in the right places)
Office injuries entitle an employee to file a claim with the state-implemented workers’ compensation. This benefit is specifically designed for workers who sustain job-related injuries, and is meant to cover lost wages and cost of medical treatment, among others. When availing of this benefit, it would definitely be in the best interest of the injured worker to be assisted and represented by a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney, whose knowledge and experience in the field of Workers’ Compensation Law make him/her naturally more competent than many of his/her peers in the same profession.Read More
Eagle Ford Shale, a large natural gas and oil deposit in the South Texas region, is a valuable environmental and economic asset. The drilling of the Eagle Ford Shale field is of the most lucrative drilling projects in Texas having a $60 billion dollar impact and providing around 116,000 jobs for workers in 2012 alone. The discovery of Eagle Ford Shale is relatively new, (the first drill having been installed in 2008). Since the discovery of the deposit, the site has evolved into a competitive environment as numerous oil and gas companies are eager to take advantage of the areas resources.
Though the Eagle Ford Shale region creates positive financial opportunities for employers and workers alike, the competitive environment of Eagle Ford Shale has become the site of many tragic worker injuries. According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, the most common accidents at Eagle Ford Shale that lead to injury are pipeline explosions, oil tank explosions, transport truck accidents, chemical leaks, and contamination. These devastating accidents are typically always preventable when the proper precautions are taken.
Due to personal injury, many workers of the Eagle Ford Shale region are temporarily, if not permanently, ineligible to work. Since most of the work at the oil field is physically demanding even a minor injury can greatly complicate a worker’s ability to perform. Injury costs workers the potential money earned as well as hospital expenses. Fortunately, according to the law firm Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, benefits like long-term disability can offer injured workers as much as 2/3 of their average wages, helping them make ends meet while they recover.Read More