Top Working From Home Injuries
Top Working From Home Injuries
Migraines are one of the top working from home injuries or condition reported by employees. This can be caused due to many factors. Most commonly, it is a direct result of a poor ergonomic setups of workstations. If you’ve had or regularly get migraines, you’ll know how painful and debilitating they can be. Migraines present as sharp head pain that interfere with vision, concentration, balance and even quality of life. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you should speak with a Physiotherapist as they can assist you in managing your condition without unnecessary pain killers, scans, and visits to doctors and specialists.
If you are working from home, your employer is responsible for ensuring your home workstation is safe and free from hazards. If you are suffering from consistent headache like symptoms, it is important that you communicate with your employer and make them aware of your condition before it potentially takes a toll on your quality of life. Your employer can assist you in assessing your home workstation. You may be eligible to make a work cover claim, depending on your condition and situation.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
Repetitive strain injuries are a result of repeated movements which can occur while working from home due to poor ergonomic practices. RSI impact’s the musculoskeletal system and symptoms build up over time. If you’re working from home, your home office design is so important to reducing your risk of sustaining this type of injury with your hands, wrists, neck and shoulders the regions mostly affected by repetitive strain due to a poorly setup workstation.
RSI, as a result of not having an ergonomic workstation setup at home, can lead to:
- Muscle weakness
- Poor circulation
- Reduced range of motion
- Numbness and nerve damage
Despite working from the comforts of home, it’s important to understand your employer needs to ensure you have an ergonomic work desk and chair and the hazards and risks around your workstation are minimised. It is also important for the employee working from home to maintain an open line of communication with the employer to inform them of what they are experiencing at home.
Psychological injuries: Depression and Anxiety
Due to lockdowns and restrictions created due to COVID, more and more full time work is being conducted at home. This is not only causing social isolation for many Australians, but also leading to mental health consequences. The two main types of psychological injuries that impact at home workers are anxiety (stress relating to fear and apprehension of what’s coming) and depression (condition that seriously impacts your mood).
Psychological injuries in people who work from home full-time are primarily due to isolation and over working. There are social elements to a lot of workplaces. Working from home cuts out social elements of the working environment and this can leave work from employees vulnerable to a drop in mood and stress – which can be a leading causes of depression and anxiety.
When it comes to your mental health when working from home, your employer should:
- Provide you with clear instructions on how to perform your work duties in a safe manner with respect to your mental health
- Ensure you understand how to report any issues you may be experiencing with your mental health.
- Provide you with access to communicate with colleagues and bosses through video calling and instant messaging platforms and email.
Fractures or Broken Bones
Falls and trips can occur in the home in a variety of ways. You can miss a step going down the stairs, you can trip over cords, you can even misjudge the little ledge that leads to the back yard. Trip and fall accidents in the home can cause considerable damage but it’s the arms, wrists and shoulders that absorb the brunt of these types of accidents often causing a fracture. Depending on your age and extent of the fall, upper limb fractures can be extremely serious and involve nerves, tendons and ligaments.
In order to minimise your risk of injury you should consistently scan your home and direct passages that lead to your designated home workstation to identify and eliminate potential trip and fall hazards which include:
- Upturned carpet or rugs
- Loose floorboards
- Unstable stair rails
- Frayed cords/wires
Your employer should assess the suitability of your workstation prior to giving you the approval to work from home. If an injury at home does occur, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible so you can lodge a workers compensation claim.
Typically, burn accidents at home can inflict significant skin damage and are generally caused by hot liquids, fire electricity or even chemicals. The increased time spent at home has led to more people cooking and preparing their own meals. This extended kitchen time, has unfortunately resulted in a spike in serious cooking-related burns to the hands, arms and face.
For more information on how we can further assist you, please call our clinic number on 0479 080 800 or send us an email on admin [email protected] for further details. Our Physiotherapists are Medicare, NDIS, DVA and Work Cover approved, specialising in injury management and rehabilitation to get you back on track.