When people imagine personal injury cases, they usually think of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip-and-fall cases, and disability claims. They may even imagine dog attacks, or medical malpractice lawsuits. They imagine these cases because every activity associated with them involves a certain amount of risk. And, when imagining risk, there are few professions perceived to be safer than information technology.
If you sit at a computer all day, writing code and monitoring networks, you’re at hardly any risk of personal injury, right? The truth is that IT carries its own set of risks, some of them unique to the field, others universal but often overlooked. Below are three major personal injury risks that a person working in IT might face, and what to do about them in the event that they occur.
As everybody knows, information technology specialists work with electronics, but few people realize the amount of power service IT workers contend with on a daily basis. If you specialize in designing, building, or maintaining data centers, you work in an environment that consumes vast quantities of electrical power. Because data centers are business-critical, they can not be shut down and many are serviced while energized, which exponentially increases the risk of electrocution. Efficient Plant Magazine warns of arc flashes, which produce temperatures as high as 35,000 degrees fahrenheit — four times hotter than the surface of the sun. Your workplace should provide adequate training, recurring every three years, relevant safety equipment, hazard labels, and a well-maintained electrical infrastructure. If they do not, they are putting you at risk.
Premise liability is the idea that the owner of a property can and should be held responsible for injuries experienced by visitors. For example, if the property owner has neglected to repair a stairway, and the stairway collapses while people are on it, the owner should be held responsible for their injuries. This idea extends to amusement park accidents, faulty wiring, and even fights and melees (if the property owner is found to inadequately provision security staff). An IT professional may be taking premise risks in any number of ways. Working around wires and cables can create trip-and-fall hazards, especially if they are not clearly marked or appropriately affixed to the floor. If server racks are not properly maintained or affixed to the floor, they can topple over, causing injury. Recently, an Apple data center experienced a chlorine leak, which hospitalized five people. In these instances, the owner of the site could be found liable for the employees’ injuries.
Hand, wrist, and finger injuries
IT specialists make their living working with their hands, whether typing code or connecting ethernet cables. An injury like carpal tunnel can be debilitating if you work in IT. If you can’t use a keyboard, if you can’t connect those cables, how will you make a living? Those hardships and lost wages can easily pile up. Those who work at reputable electronics repair stores on projects such as an Iphone or iPad screen repair typically service devices within 24 hours. As such, maintaining pain-free hands and remaining injury-free can make all the difference in delivering a completed job on time or past its expected completion date.
What to do
Working in IT carries its own set of personal injury risks. So what do you do if you are injured? According to Preszler Law, a Canada-based personal injury firm, it is important to speak to a lawyer to understand your right, and the type of compensation available to you. However, the most important parts of a personal injury claim “are evidence of injury and causation.” This means that you have to demonstrate that you were harmed and that another party’s actions caused that suffering.
If you believe you have a personal injury case, be sure you have the right advice before you move forward.