You may think that working in an office is relatively hazard-free. However, an office environment has the potential for a number of injuries. Slips and falls account for the greatest number of injuries but other hazards include lifting heavy objects, poor workstation ergonomics, falling objects and more. Here are five of the most common injuries in the office environment.
Slip and fall accidents
Falling is a common accident in offices and one that can result in disabling injuries. Some common causes of falls in an office include:
- Slipping on wet floors.
- Slipping due to inadequate lighting in dark areas.
- Using a chair in place of a ladder.
- Tripping over loose carpeting, electrical cords, open drawers and objects in walkways.
- Bending or reaching for something while seated in an unstable chair
Reducing risks of office falls includes fixing loose carpeting, tidying cords, ensuring pathways are clear, ensuring lighting is adequate and cleaning up spills as they occur.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, Kaufman & Lynd in Orlando can give you advice on whether you have a case or not and what steps to take if you want compensation for your injuries.
Most lifting that takes place in an office does not involve very heavy objects. However, even lifting lighter loads, like a stack of files, can cause neck or back injuries if not done in the right way. Good lifting techniques can help to reduce the risks of such injuries.
- Squat down, keep your back straight and pick the object up from the floor by bending your legs and not your back.
- Ask a coworker to help you.
- Use a lifting aid, like a cart.
If your office chair does not support your back properly, your computer screen is too low or too high and your wrists are not at the right angle while typing, you may develop musculoskeletal problems. Neck, shoulders and back injury, eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome are some of the problems you may experience.
- Make sure of the following when you set up your workstation.
- Your thighs should be horizontal to the floor and your feet flat on the floor.
- Your chair must support your lower back.
- Adjust your computer monitor so the top of the screen is at eye level.
- When you’re typing, your elbows should be at a 90 degrees angle and your wrists straight.
Pushing, carrying, reaching and other actions can cause strain injuries in an office. Storerooms are places where strain injuries can easily occur. For example, employees may put their backs out when reaching for objects stored out of reach.
Some of the ways to prevent such injuries are to place commonly used items within easy reach and use ladders for reaching objects stored at a height. Get up rather than stretching to reach something while seated.
It is not only on a construction site that people are hit by falling objects. In an office, items may fall off the top of a cupboard. Certain materials could be piled too high and when the pile collapses, employees could be injured. Head injuries are common from this type of accident. Employees could also be injured by a heavy object falling on their feet.
Avoid accidents like this from happening by having proper storage, not storing heavy objects on top of cupboards, and not stacking materials or boxes too high.