Most people consider some jobs dangerous and other jobs safe. However, the truth is more complicated. Some jobs carry a statistically higher chance of a worker suffering a severe injury. Both hospital workers and construction workers are more likely than the average employee to get hurt on the job.

Statistics aside, there are risks in literally every single workplace environment that could result in serious employee injuries. People often think of office work as some of the safest work available in modern America. Reality is more nuanced than this assumption. Office workers can and do suffer serious injuries on the job.

Accumulated trauma and workplace illnesses are serious concerns

While the average office worker won’t be managing heavy machinery, they will probably perform the same tasks day after day. Working at a computer monitor can strain your eyes. Sitting in a chair without lumbar support can put pressure on your lower back. Typing or cradling a phone all day could cause strain to the hands and arms, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are many kinds of accumulated trauma that can build up after years of performing the same job in an office. Workers in offices are often also at risk for environmental illnesses. Whether it’s an allergic reaction due to poor air quality or exposure to asbestos, or other environmental contaminants, it is possible for office workers to wind up injured as a result of their work environment.

Falls are a major source of accident risk

Even if your office is in a one-story building and has no elevated storage areas, you could still wind up hurt because of a fall at work. Something as simple as someone else spilling coffee on the floor could result in a slip-and-fall that has devastating physical consequences for the victim. In offices that have ladders or stairs, the risk of a fall is even higher. Falling isn’t the only kind of injury workers could suffer.

Lifting anything from equipment to reams of paper could cause injury to the back. Workers could also wind up hurt because of broken or poorly maintained equipment or machinery. Anything from a fall out of a chair that breaks to an electrocution because of frayed wiring is possible. Just because you work in an office doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt on the job.

If you do suffer an accident at work or develop a medical condition that is the result of your job, you will need to take action to protect yourself. Reporting your injury or symptoms to your employer as soon as possible is important. It is also important to follow through with medical directions and file a claim for benefits in a timely manner.

If you are having trouble connecting with the benefits you need or if you believe you will need extra assistance with your claim, speaking with an attorney who understands the California workers’ compensation program is a good way to protect your rights as an injured worker.