You might think of industrial accidents when you think of workers’ compensation claims, but office workers are not immune to on-the-job injuries. Workers’ comp lawyer Nick Panebianco, who has been practicing in South Florida for more than 25 years, has handled many cases involving repetitive stress injuries as well as back and neck strain.
Some employers are very proactive about protecting the health and wellbeing of their office personnel and will provide ergonomic equipment, including chairs and keyboards designed to ease the strain that spending long hours working on a computer at your desk can cause.
Unfortunately, not every employer is so conscientious. You may have to file a workers’ comp claim before you are provided with the equipment and furnishings that will allow you to work in a healthy ergonomic environment. There may be changes you can make on your own, however, that will help to protect you from a painful condition.
Setting Up an Ergonomic Office
The health experts at the Mayo Clinic have put together a how-to guide for healthy ergonomics that has lots of helpful information.
Some of the basic recommendations they cover include:
- Sitting in a chair that supports the curve of your spine.
- Placing objects that you use frequently – like your phone, notepad or paperclips – close to you so that you don’t have to be constantly reaching for them. “Stand up to reach anything that can’t be comfortably reached while sitting,” they say.
- If you are on the phone a lot and you need to take notes while you talk, you should either put your phone on speaker or use a headset to avoid the neck strain associated with using your shoulder to hold the phone.
- Your computer monitor should be right in front of you, with the top of the screen positioned a little bit below your eye level. You’ll want to set about an arm’s length away from the monitor.
Don’t hesitate to speak up if your workspace is not ergonomically set up. And, if you think you have an injury that may have been caused by a lack of ergonomics, call us at (954) 524-6886 OR (844) 316-7696 to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Fort Lauderdale.