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Work From Home Injuries

Did you know that roughly half of all injuries occur around the house, according to the CDC? If you are a work from home employee, or suddenly find yourself working remotely, there are some things you can do to try to prevent injury. 

What are Some Common Work From Home Injuries?

  1. Carpal Tunnel. Carpal tunnel is a very common condition, often caused by nerve damage or strain through the wrist. It causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. Carpal tunnel is an injury that can be caused by typing or working at a computer. Because it often appears after repeated actions or use, carpal tunnel is often referred to as a cumulative trauma injury.
  2. Falls. According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death, after motor-vehicle accidents or related traffic injuries. This kind of injury is common whether you work from home are on site working. Falls may or may not be job-related.
  3. Fire. Cooking is the leading cause of fire in the home. A lack of proper smoke detectors can turn a cooking accident into an injury to death. While this is often not a job-related injury or incident, it’s important to keep yourself safe while you work from home.

Other common work-related injuries that could apply to work from home duties include neck and back strain, hearing loss and other cumulative trauma injuries.

How to Prevent Work From Home Injuries

  1. Set up a workstation. Having a dedicated space with an appropriate chair, desk, and wrist rest to use with typing. Make sure your computer is in the right position to avoid straining your neck, back or eyes. Check with your employer – they may cover the cost of this equipment to prevent injury while you work from home. 
  2. Clean up and store materials. In or near your dedicated workspace, be sure to have proper places to store materials. This will help you avoid injury. Throughout your home, keeping things tidy can help you avoid tripping or falls.
  3. Test smoke detectors and have a drill. Make sure to test your smoke detectors on a regular basis. Hold regular fire drills, just like you would in your office, for your work from home crew. Be sure you and your family get out on time should there be a fire to prevent injury or death.

What Should You Do if You Experience a Work From Home Injury?

If you sustain an injury in your home while working from home, first you should think about whether or not the injury was work related. Injuries not directly related to your work responsibilities are unlikely to be covered by worker’s compensation. If you experience a work from home injury and are not sure if it’s job related, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did the injury occur while you were performing a job-related task?
  2. Did the injury occur while you were present in a work environment?
  3. Did the injury occur because of work-related exposure?

Three Steps to Handle a Job-related Work From Home Injury

If you believe you sustained a job-related injury while working in your home, you should follow these three steps:

  1. Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Whether you sustain a work from home injury or an injury on site, you should always make sure to tell your supervisor so the injury can be documented.
  2. Seek medical treatment. In an emergency situation go to the ER. Otherwise, ask your employer for a “Panel List” of approved providers.
  3. Know your rights. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation with an Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. attorney who can talk to you about your work from home injury. We can help you file your claim.

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