Workplace Hazards Associated With Office Work

Compared to workers who use machinery and chemicals, many office workers do not think about the hazards they face in the workplace. Any New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney would advise you that workplace safety should never be neglected, even in jobs where the hazards are less dramatic.

Workplace hazards can take forms that you would never expect, including computers and even paper. Let’s examine these hazards and discuss how they can be mitigated.

Any employee who spends a large amount of his workday at a computer with bad posture is at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in his hands, shoulders, neck and back due to the repetitive motions associated with computer use. It can be difficult to claim workers’ comp for injuries like these, but a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney can help.

This risk can be mitigated with just a few adjustments to the computer workstation.
First, arrange frequently used materials (pens, post-its, etc.) so that they can be reached without the elbows moving too far from the sides of the torso. The chair should be adjustable and should support the legs and lower back. They should also have arm rests that support the elbows around where they would naturally hang at the sides. The monitor should be slightly below eye level, and should be useable without leaning forward, and the keyboard positioned so that the user can keep his wrists level while typing.

Carbonless paper, which is present in many checks receipts and forms, is also an oft-overlooked hazard. This paper contains dyes and resins that can cause irritation if absorbed through the skin or inhaled. The real danger, however, is in an allergic reaction, which while rare can still be dangerous. Symptoms to look out for include headaches, red-eyes, throat or sinus infections, and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms or any other injury, contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.

By far the best way to mitigate this hazard is making sure the workplace has adequate ventilation. If there are still problems, the employer may need to adjust the temperature or humidity of the workplace.

If you have been injured at the workplace and are having trouble making a workers’ compensation claim, make sure you have an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney on your side. Call Dan Matrafajlo today at (908) 248-4404 for a free consultation.

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