Working in an office should be safe, right? Well, that’s usually the case, but there are still hazards and issues that may lead to injuries. Many office workers struggle with injuries related to repetitive strain, for example, such as typing for long hours or sitting at a desk for hours on end. Repetitive motions and positioning can lead to injuries, so it’s important to understand basic safety and how to reduce the risk of injuries in an office environment.
Office injuries can happen in a number of ways. Repetitive strain is one, but others may include:
- Exposure to perfumes or aerosols
- Exposure to chemicals from cleaning solutions
- Lifting injuries
- Trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents
- Ankle injuries from wearing high heels
Many office injuries are cumulative injuries. These are injuries that build up over time, such as injuries to the tendons of the arms from typing or trouble with your neck from sitting at the computer for several hours a day.
Other injuries happen suddenly or as a result of trauma. Tripping over a filing cabinet or slipping on a web floor are two examples.
What can you do to stay safer in an office environment?
It is possible to stay safer in your office. Some of the safety tips that may help include:
- Wearing shoes that have good traction on the bottom of the sole and heel
- Always closing drawers as soon as possible
- Taking regular breaks to stretch
- Using ergonomic seating, keyboards and other equipment
- Reporting hazards such as rolled up or bunched up carpet, exposed wires or spills
- Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals during office hours. Bringing cleaners in afterhours may be more appropriate
- Limiting perfumes and colognes in the workplace
These are just a few things you can do to stay safer at work. If you’re having pain or have noticed problems due to exposure to chemicals or perfumes, for example, you should report the issue to your employer. You have a right to work in a safer, healthier environment. If you are injured at work or suffer from an injury after repetitive, cumulative injuries over time, you should look into making a workers’ compensation claim.