Plenty of jobs exist where workers expect to face exposure to dangerous working conditions, such as manufacturing positions that involve exposure to heavy equipment and harsh chemicals and road crew positions that involve fresh asphalt, vehicular and severe weather risks. Many workers outside of these environments do not expect to suffer injuries on the job at all. Those few people who do worry about the possibility of an on-the-job injury typically imagine “common” workers’ compensation claim injuries:
– Incomplete or Complete Bone Fractures
– Concussions and Brain Injuries
– Back and Muscle Strains
– Repetitive Stress Injuries
– Cooking Appliance, Fire or Chemical Burns
– Upper Respiratory Problems
– Particle-Related Eye Injury
Facing the Unexpected
Every day, many workers in seemingly harmless environments work around harmful elements without realizing it. As they become ill and gradually worsen over time, those who experience injury from these harmful sources often fail to file claims because they do not see the connection between their work environment and poor health or they believe that they have no way of proving the connection:
– SBS: One of the most common sources of physical harm to office, retail, restaurant and other workers is Sick Building Syndrome. SBS involves the gradual undermining of the immune and/or respiratory system from a variety of hazards, including volatile organic chemicals and other harsh chemicals in the air from paint on surfaces, fire retardants used on office furniture or cleaning supplies, mold from improperly maintained ventilation systems and fine dust from laser printers. SBS can be a valid reason for a claim if a worker can prove that the hazards exist and adversely affect the worker’s health.
– Office Noise: Any repetitive or loud noise can cause specific physical and psychological problems. Noises include but are not limited to: door banging, construction hammering or pounding and laser printer or fax machine beeping and printing sounds. “Regular” noise can damage a person’s hearing over time – especially if a worker’s desk is located near the noise source. Noise can also make it difficult for a worker to focus on work. Lastly, noise can impact a worker off the job by making it harder for the worker to handle being around similar noises.
– Intense Stress: Everyone has to deal with stress at some point when on the job, but too much stress can also cause physical and mental harm. People under intense stress are at a higher risk for immune system dysfunction, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. As noted on Claimwire, certain types of stress might count as valid reasons to make a workers’ compensation claim, such as verbal abuse and threats from co-workers.