In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is the government entity responsible for that country’s version of workers’ compensation. The ACC recently released some statistics about injuries and office workers in New Zealand. Obviously, an office isn’t dangerous in the way a construction site or an aircraft carrier is dangerous, but cubicles, desks, and water coolers are not without risks. If you’re injured on the job in southern California, you probably qualify to receive workers’ comp benefits. The best way to do that is with the help of an experienced, Los Angeles-based California workers’ compensation attorney.
In 2013, New Zealand’s ACC received more than 8,000 injury claims from office workers. The ACC received 47 claims for paper cuts. Of the 31 coffee-related workplace claims, mostly for scalds suffered by spilling hot coffee. The ACC also received scores of claims related to lifting boxes (mostly back injuries) and falling boxes (leading to broken arms and foot, neck, and head injuries.
What’s the lesson for office managers in California? If people are saying the office coffee is too hot, bring the temperature down or replace the coffeemaker. If your office does a lot of collating, protective rubber finger pads can reduce paper cuts substantially. Tie up loose cables and cords and replace old rugs and carpets to reduce the risk of tripping. Make sure that storage areas are safe – falling boxes packed with papers or equipment can cause genuinely serious head and neck injuries. If lifting is a routine job in your office, ordering some back braces and scheduling some safety training should be a priority.
A wider safety audit should seek to identify workplace hazards and take a close look at office furniture, equipment, foot traffic patterns, and the overall office environment. If you are injured at work in the Los Angeles area – despite your best safety efforts and your employer’s – report your injury and seek medical treatment immediately. Then speak promptly about your legal rights and options with an experienced, Los Angeles-based California workers’ compensation attorney.