When people think of workplace accidents, they often picture incidents involving warehouses, construction sites, or other industrial settings. However, even a comfortable and climate-controlled office setting can carry its own hazards, many of which can result in severe injury.
It is important not to underestimate the dangers that can be present in an office environment. While office jobs are generally considered less risky than those that involve manual labor, you still need to be cautious in order to avoid injury. To help you stay safe while on the job, here is an overview of the most common office injuries, and the steps employees can take to avoid them.
One of the most common causes of office place injuries is slips, trips, and falls. There are a variety of potential trip hazards in most office spaces, including spills, boxes, open drawers, or loose carpeting. One of the most common trip hazards in offices are caused by unsecured cables and wiring. For example, sometimes an extension cord has to run across a walkway to reach the nearest outlet; passersby can easily trip if the cable is not properly secured.
These potential trip hazards make it important to always take care when walking across the office. It is also important to consider others, and try to keep the area around your workspace clear of any obstacles or trip hazards. Finally, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and those you work with is to report any trip hazards you notice to a supervisor. If the carpeting seems to be pulling up at a seam, or there is a cable running through a high-traffic area, report what you see so that the issue can be remedied before someone is injured.
As office jobs require employees to spend more and more time in front of their computers, eye strain and even vision damage become a growing risk. Fortunately, if you spend a majority of your day in front of the computer, there are a few easy steps you can take to alleviate this strain on your eyes.
One of the most common causes of eye strain is improper lighting. Make sure that there is enough background light, so you do not have to strain when looking at your computer. If you do particularly detailed work on the computer such as graphic design, you may need additional lighting to reduce eye strain. Another effective way to reduce eye strain is by taking regular breaks from the computer screen. In order to reduce eye fatigue, consider taking at least a 5-minute break from the computer every hour. Looking away from your screen and focusing on objects farther away can help give your eyes a rest, and prevent potentially long-term damage.
Poor Workstation Ergonomics
Sitting for hours a day at a desk can also lead to a variety of aches and pains; more seriously, it can even cause musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the most common causes of these long-term injuries is sitting improperly at your computer. You can prevent many of these injuries by adjusting your chair and computer to provide proper support and posture throughout the workday. Some of the steps you can take to improve the ergonomics of your workstation include:
- Using an ergonomic keyboard: Traditional keyboards put your hands in positions that cause unnecessary stress to your fingers, wrists, and forearms. Consider requesting an ergonomically friendly keyboard that helps position your hands properly. If your work will not provide one, you may want to invest in one for both personal and occupational use.
- Sitting properly: In order to prevent long-term injuries, make sure that you are sitting properly with good posture. Ensure your back is fully supported against your chair, feet are flat on the ground, and your thighs are horizontal. Position your chair close enough to your desk so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle when you are using your keyboard and mouse.
- Properly positioning your computer: Once you are sitting properly, it is important to adjust the position of your computer so that you are able to comfortably maintain proper posture. Generally, it is best to have your computer screen no more than an arms-length away from you, so that you do not have to bend over or strain to see your screen. If the text still seems small from this distance, consider increasing the magnification on your computer. Adjust your monitor so that your eye line is level with the top of the screen; this will encourage proper neck posture and positioning.
While it may sound surprising, burns are a common injury in workplace settings. Many office workers enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea throughout the day; however, if you are in a hurry to get back to your desk after making coffee, or carrying multiple cups after a coffee run, it easy to spill hot liquid on yourself. Hot beverages can result in second-degree burns; always handle hot beverages with extreme caution. Slow down when carrying your coffee across the office, and make sure that you give yourself enough time at the end of your break to get back to your desk so that you are not tempted to rush. If you plan on carrying more than two cups of coffee, consider taking multiple trips, or asking a co-worker for help in order to prevent an accident.
Contact a New Port Richey Workplace Injury Attorney Today
While following the tips above can certainly help employees avoid many common office injuries, office workers are still not immune from hazards in the workplace. If you’ve sustained an injury in a New Port Richey workplace, please reach out to the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group. Call us at (727) 853-6275 or for a free consultation and find out if you have grounds to file a suit.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652