COVID-19 has challenged individuals and business owners alike. Coping with a year of firsts, organizations have had to revise policies and implement changes based on a fluid, uncertain situation. Remote workers are a prime example of this.
For many organizations, working from home represented the job responsibilities of a small segment of their workforce. From data entry to copywriting to call centers, the ability to work from home was often a luxury rather than a necessity. Today, however, that designation has flipped with everyone but essential workers completing their duties remotely. Unfortunately, while certain types of workplace injuries might be less common in a work from home setting, employees might face injuries they were not previously exposed to.
Ergonomic injuries have seen an increase during these months. Many experts agree that the sudden change in work environments was to blame. As workers had to immediately shift from a professional work environment to their home – a change that was initially considered short-term – they were forced to use different equipment. From the desk and chair to the height of a computer monitor, the quality of the work equipment and its positioning can lead to muscle strain, back pain, shoulder pain and eye strain.
What at first could have been considered mild discomfort gradually became a sharpened pain. This is generally considered repetitive stress or an overuse trauma. Whether looking down to watch a lower laptop screen or looking up to watch an ill-positioned desktop monitor, an eight-hour shift can do severe damage to the neck and upper back. Additionally, many employees were not set up to work from home. They might be sitting on the couch with a laptop on their lap or sitting at a table on a hard dining room chair. Either situation, for any extended period of time, can wear down and damage muscles.
While slip-and-fall injuries may be less common in a work from home setting, they still occur. Unfortunately, it might be more challenging to prove that the accident was work-related. It is wise to discuss your claim with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are receiving the best guidance.