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Avoiding Work Injuries As A Remote Worker

  • February 2, 2022

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Sustaining a work injury is unpleasant. If you are familiar with the legal consequences of injuries in the workplace, you may be thinking about securing compensation. 

Unfortunately, you can't always claim compensation for your injury when you are a remote employee. In fact, more often than not, as you are responsible for your workstation and your work environment, you may have to bear the responsibility of your injury as well. In other words, getting hurt when you have flexible work arrangements could put your income and your health at risk. 

Here are some of the most common injuries sustained by remote employees or work-from-home freelancers, and how to best avoid them. 

Tripping on a loose cable or a misplaced item

A safe office must be tidy and carefully secure loose cables under desks or against the walls. However, in your home office, things can be different. When you work in a small room, you need to make the most of the space. More often than not, things can get messy when you're busy. You set the new printer on a chair because it's too big to fit on your shelves. You tell yourself you'll tidy up the place and set up more shelving and storage options soon. 

Unfortunately, before you know it, you trip on the printer's cable and fall. Falls in the home office tend to result in sprained ankles or knees, which you can secure with sports tape until you feel better. However, tripping could also cause damage to your work equipment. 

Developing chronic back or wrist pain

Your desk height and setup can play a huge role in preventing chronic pain. Indeed, back pain is a frequent complaint in a desk job. The choice of desk and chair will help create an ergonomic and healthy posture as you work. While it can be tempting to opt for a quirky chair for your home office, you should choose seats that have firm back support. Additionally, the desk should be at the right height for your seating position. If you need to bend down towards the desk, you are more likely to develop back pain. 

Wrist and hand pain are also a frequent occurrence for computer workers. The way you hold the mouse and your arms rest on the desk can contribute to soreness and numbness. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common issue, which happens when the median nerve swell inside the inner wrist. It is worth experimenting with different settings and heights when you notice the first signs of pain. 

Prolonged headaches and migraines

Computer screen headaches are common. If you work long hours at your desk without protection for your eyes, you could develop long-lasting headaches and migraines. While not everyone is sensitive to screen light, if you experience headaches regularly, it can be helpful to invest in screen glasses. 

A splitting migraine could prevent you from working for several hours or even days. Introducing regular breaks during which you look away from your screen and adjusting light and colors can also reduce risks. 

Eye strain, chronic back pain, and sprained ankles are the most frequent office injuries. Yet, you may not realize home office workers are just as vulnerable and exposed as anyone else. As a remote worker, you may not be able to claim compensation or sick pay. Therefore, taking care of your office setting and routine also protects your health and income. 

 

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