When you imagine workplace accidents, you may picture construction sites, manufacturing plants or the commercial trucking industry. You may not immediately think about your own workplace – the office. Yet an office can pose as many health risks and safety hazards to workers as a more dangerous workplace. A slip-and-fall accident, fall down the stairs, elevator accident, repetitive motions or acts of violence from a coworker could lead to life-altering personal injuries. You may be eligible for compensation if you suffer an injury at the office in Dallas.
Falls kill more construction workers than any other hazard each year, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration data. In 2017, 381 construction workers died in fatal fall accidents in the U.S. Construction sites are not the only places where falls occur, however. Falls are also the most common injury-related accident in the office. An office space could have many fall hazards waiting to cause serious injuries.
- Poor lighting
- Loose carpets
- Electrical cords or computer wires
- Slippery surfaces
- Food debris in the kitchen
- Dangerous staircases
- Unstable chairs
- Cluttered walkways
- An open filing cabinet or desk drawers
Fall accidents in the office can cause sprained wrists and ankles, pulled muscles, bone fractures, head injuries, lacerations and traumatic brain damage. A bad fall could put you out of commission for weeks or months. During this time, you may lose wages and miss important opportunities for raises or promotions. You may also face expensive medical bills for your fall-related injury treatments.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue and repetitive motion injuries are also common in U.S. offices. Office jobs that require a great deal of sitting, typing, lifting, moving boxes or straining to reach items could lead to many worker injuries. Muscle sprains and strains are common, especially in the back and neck. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common among office workers and people who work on assembly lines. Carpal tunnel affects the arms, wrists and hands and may require surgery to treat.
There might not be as many tools or materials flying through the air as at some workplaces, but the office can still pose a threat of objects striking or injuring workers. Look out for items sitting precariously on shelves or cabinet tops that could fall and strike sitting workers. Always be aware of the space you are in to avoid running into desks, chairs, tables, cabinets and other office furniture. Take care not to slam your fingers in a desk drawer, get jewelry caught in a paper shredder or topple unbalanced cabinets. These incidents could cause painful and temporarily debilitating injuries.
Surprisingly, acts of violence are a common cause of injuries in the workplace. Workplace violence can involve discrimination, harassment, assault, sexual assault, threats, intimidation and disruptive behaviors. Assaults at work could cause serious wounds such as gunshots or stabbings. You may be able to file a civil claim against your attacker during an ongoing criminal investigation or trial in Texas.
Can You Seek Legal Help?
Texas is unique in that it does not make workers’ compensation insurance mandatory for employers. Although some employers in Texas have workers’ compensation, others do not. For this reason, it is wise to seek legal help after an office injury in Texas. Your boss may not have workers’ compensation insurance, leaving you with limited options for financial recovery.
If your employer could have prevented your accident, you may have grounds for a civil action against the company. An insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit could result in payment for your hospital bills, long-term health care costs, disability, lost wages and more. You may also have grounds for a claim against an office product manufacturer for an unstable or defective item. Hiring a Dallas personal attorney after an office injury could help you recover fair compensation for your damages.