Are you working from home in 2022? You aren’t alone. Remote employment has become the new norm for a significant portion of America’s workforce. Hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the nation are now regularly fulfilling their job duties and responsibilities without ever leaving their homes. With so many workers now telecommuting, it’s not surprising that America is seeing a notable increase in the number of work-at-home injuries seeking worker’s compensation benefits.
10 Common Work at Home Injuries:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Bodily Reaction
- Struck by Object
- Struck Against an Object
Common Work at Home Injuries: Cumulative Injuries
The first four common work at home injuries can all be categorized as cumulative injuries; an injury involving damage and pain caused by repetitive movement and overuse. For many telecommuting workers, these painful conditions affecting their muscles, tendons, and nerves are caused by poor ergonomics at their workstation (or the lack of a workstation completely).
Common Work at Home Injuries: Slips, Trips and Falls
A slip is defined as losing your footing and balance. Trips occur when you lose your balance because part of your body (frequently a foot) hits a fixed object. Both slips and trips can cause a fall. However, falls can also happen when a means of support, like a banister or hand railing, fails or is missing. Most employers have a specific plan to address slips, trips, and fall hazards, but they are generally limited to the office/workplace. When employees transfer to remotely working from home, the risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries can increase because they may not be aware of potential hazards like spills, toys, cords, etc.
Common Work at Home Injury: Bodily Reaction
Another type of common work at home injury that could be a compensable worker’s compensation claim is the bodily reaction injury. This type of injury may occur when a telecommuter avoids falling after a trip or slip but still sustains an injury. Common injuries sustained in this way are twisted knee or sprained ankle.
Common Work at Home Injuries: Struck by an Object/Struck Against an Object
The struck by an object and struck against an object injuries seem self-explanatory, but it’s worth noting that injuries that fall in this category may be more prevalent in this particular telecommuting environment because of the rapid nature of the change. Many telecommuters transferred from in-office staff to working from home with no notice (or very little notice), which left a significant number scrambling to create a workspace in an already full home. This situation may leave telecommuters with workspaces that are: in the way, not protected from outside distractions, overcrowded, etc. Since this is the type of injury that occurs when something falls off a shelf, or someone falls into something or walks into a stationary object, telecommuters who suddenly found themselves scrambling to create a workspace during the pandemic could have workspaces that leave them susceptible.
If you are a remote worker and you’ve been injured on the job, get in touch with Armstrong & Vaught P.L.C., Tulsa’s Premier Workers’ Compensation, Employment, and Social Security Law Firm. We have the experience you need on your side.