According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to be injured in a fall than those who don’t work in an office. This can include slipping on a wet floor, tripping over loose carpeting, or using a chair rather than a ladder to reach something. If you thought an accident or injury was unlikely happen in an office, it’s time to think again. However, office accidents can easily be avoided by paying attention to health and safety in the workplace. You have so much to worry about when it comes to advancing your career: don’t let a workplace injury sideline you while you’re working towards your goals.
Lift With Care
Just because you’re not on a loading dock, it doesn’t mean you don’t do your fair share of lifting in an office. From heavy boxes of printer paper to unwieldy books and large filing cabinets, there are a myriad of items workers find themselves lifting, carrying and dragging around their offices. There is absolutely a proper way to lift something heavy, and you should take care to do so every time. It could save your back from a lifetime of agony. If you need assistance with a heavy object, be sure to ask your fellow employees, or better yet, a maintenance worker who likely has access to tools to aid with lifting and moving items.
Maintain Proper Ergonomics
Musculoskeletal disorders account for more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs every year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Musculoskeletal disorders occur when repetitive physical stress is placed on a worker’s body over time. Although your employer will help out if they file workers comp quickly when you’re injured on the job, employing proper ergonomics now can help prevent you from being in pain later. Take notice of every movement you make in a day at work, and pinpoint any repetitive motion that might increase pressure to your nerves and joints. Find ways to adjust your seat so that you can relieve this pressure; sitting awkwardly or straining your neck to see a screen that is too low or high can cause long-term issues. Be sure to take breaks to stretch and walk around your office during the day.
What You Might Not Have Thought Of
You may be aware how lifting and sitting can affect you, but the list of office hazards unfortunately doesn’t end there. From the moment you step foot in your work space to the time you clock out, there are risks all around you. For example, if you stare at a computer screen all day, it can strain your eyes, leading to dry and irritated eyeballs. The air quality in your building is potentially less than desirable, yet you breathe it in all day while you work. And don’t forget fire hazards, which are present in every office. Make sure you take regular breaks to rest your eyes, keep your work space clean and sanitized, and learn the fire escape route for your office.
Whether you work in a warehouse or a cubicle, there is always the potential for an injury to occur. Take the proper precautions now to prevent workplace injury, and you’ll thank yourself when you retire in great health.