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How Computer Usage Can Cause Workplace Injuries – St. Louis Attorneys

Most repetitive stress injuries caused by prolonged and constant computer usage such as back problems are covered by workers compensation.

office worker back pain

Computers are an indispensable part of any modern workplace. Computers have made workplaces more efficient than ever, however, it has also started a troubling trend. Years of working at a computer have led to debilitating and permanent damage to many backs, arms, necks, and shoulders. The direct result of this is an increase in carpal tunnel claims and tendon/nerve surgeries. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will discuss how increased computer use has caused an increase in workplace injuries.

Common injuries resulting from prolonged computer use

Back problems

The most common cause of back injuries among office workers is poor posture, which is often caused by inadequate back support. Apart from poor chair designs, workers can suffer back injuries by sitting in chairs without proper back support. Ergonomists recommend that chairs should have an adjustable seat back with an S shape that matches the spine. The seat height and armrests should be adjustable to meet the needs of different workers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most widely recognized computer usage injuries, which occurs due to the repetitive use of fingers for typing. It is a painful condition that develops over time and restricts the use of the affected hand, wrist and arm.

Eye injuries

The most common injuries associated with computer usage are eye injuries that result from constant staring at video screens. Research suggests that when it comes to eye injuries, the type of computer work whether generalized work or data entry is immaterial. What matters is the duration for which the worker stares at the computer screens. As many as 15 percent of the routine eye exams reveal computer-related eye problems.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Prolonged exposure to video display terminals can increase the chances of the user experiencing a decrease in spontaneous eye blink rate from ignoring the cues such as dry eyes that cause eye blinking. Research proves that in healthy patients, spontaneous eye blink rate reduces by over 42 percent during computer usage. This decrease combined with higher concentration tasks can cause the tear film to dry rapidly. The symptoms become worse if the worker has had a Lasik surgery before. Dry eye also increases the risk of Asthenopia or severe eye strain, visual fatigue, and Diplopia or double vision. The incidence of these eye problems has increased to an extent that medical professionals have given the name Computer vision syndrome to this occurrence. Thankfully, most of these injuries are temporary in nature and resolve with proper care.

Most repetitive stress injuries caused by prolonged and constant computer usage such as back problems are covered by workers compensation.

Speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney today at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (314) 361-4300 and requesting a free case evaluation.

Updated: February 8, 2019