Staying Healthy at The Office – Week 1:
Injuries and Pain from Office Jobs
According to the CDC, people who work in offices are, often struck by, stuck between or bump into objects, and are injured. In 2008, 80,410 private-industry administrative and office workers suffered injuries while in the office. The vast majority of these injuries could have been prevented if supervisors or workers had recognized the risks and addressed the implementation of normal workplace modifications to help curtail them. Injuries or pain from working in an office environment may sound strange to some, but these issues are very real to others. Muscle strain, vision, and hearing problems are all common workplace complaints from those who work in office settings. Though not the same as people who move furniture or drive trucks for a living, workers in offices are at risk of painful experiences and even injuries if certain elements go unchecked. You should be able to increase your comfort and efficiency while decreasing physical problems by applying ergonomic methods and practices to your office.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Easily the most common type of office accident that results in injury is slipping, falling, and tripping. According to OSHA over 25,000 of the 80,000 injuries were due to slip and fall accidents. There are quite a few hazards that can cause these types of injuries.Clutter-filled offices are a prime example. If there are document boxes in normal traffic areas or extension cords (taped down or not), or under rugs also pose a great risk of tripping and/or falling. Another way office workers get hurt often is by standing on chairs instead of stepladders. A rolling office chair is, under no circumstances, a place to stand on. Be sure that walking paths are clear and clutter-free, and that any climbing that absolutely must be done is done safely and on proper equipment.
Struck or Caught by Objects
Somehow the second leading cause of injuries in the office is being struck by or caught between objects. This doesn’t sound like a common occurrence but over 15,000 injuries were reported where an object, moving or stationary, was the culprit. File cabinets with one too many drawers extended can tip forward if not secured properly. Open drawers on desks and filing cabinets also pose tripping hazards. To avoid workplace injuries, close all drawers as soon as you’re finished with them. Stacking heavy items correctly can also help to avoid possible injuries.
The fact that office workers spend the majority of their work day sitting in a chair and working on a computer, they are likely to develop injuries due to the repeated movement. Unlike the injuries above, ergonomics hazards are harder to detect. It’s not entirely easy to accommodate all shapes and sizes of workers in an office setting. Having the best chairs, desks and ergonomic office supplies may not be cheap but they are wise investments. Hard claims can costs tens of thousands of dollars just for treatment, not to mention the costs incurred concerning production lost, replacements and absenteeism. Ergonomic setup can make a world of difference for you employees and your bottom line.