A sudden accident in the workplace can cause serious injuries. However, the most common medical issues caused by work-related activities develop over time. They're the result of repetitive movements like typing and things like long hours spent hunched over a desk in a non-ergonomic chair.
Many of the injuries that result from repetitive or sustained activities are classified as overexertion or musculoskeletal disorders. The National Safety Council reports that they account for one-third of workplace injuries. Common examples include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Tension neck syndrome
- Digital neuritis
- Mechanical back syndrome
Occupational therapists point out that there are things we can do to help prevent these conditions from developing. Just remembering to take a break now and then, stretch your legs and take a walk can help if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk and work on a computer and/or talk on the phone for long hours.
Having the right chair that's properly adjusted for your height and your desk is key too. Your computer monitor, keyboard and mouse should all be positioned properly as well.
Companies are becoming more aware of the importance of ensuring that their employees have the appropriate furniture, tools and equipment to do their jobs comfortably. There are even ergonomics consulting services. It makes good business sense to minimize preventable workplace injuries that can cost a company money and manpower.
If you believe that your overexertion injury was caused by your workplace activities, it's worthwhile to find out if you can qualify for workers' compensation and other benefits. An attorney with experience in this area can provide valuable guidance.