When you think of accidents worthy of applying for workers’ compensation, you may think of hazardous work environments like construction sites, auto repair shops, or roofing. The truth of the matter is that even if you work in a typical office, you can still become injured. To better avoid having to file a workers’ compensation claim, it’s best to know the most prevalent office injuries and how to avoid them.
Falling hazards galore exist in the modern workplace. In fact, the CDC notes that falling is the most prevalent type of accident that occurs in office settings, with office workers nearly three times more likely to receive an injury from falling compared to workers in other environments. Reasons for falling range from wet floors and inadequate lighting to reaching while sitting in an unstable chair and tripping over an object.
To keep from becoming a statistic, use caution when walking around wet floors, let the janitorial or maintenance staff know about blown-out lights, and ensure carpeting and electrical cords are secure. Simple communication can do wonders to help keep both your feet on the ground where they belong.
The way you sit at your desk and the way you move while at your desk can also lead to an accidental injury and the need to reach out to a firm like Shook & Stone to help with a workers’ compensation claim. Chairs with poor lumbar support, desks that are too high or too low, and poor posture can all lead to various injuries. Repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome are common for employees who spend a lot of time typing, and you can experience back problems if your computer screen is positioned at an awkward angle.
Invest in a quality chair that offers proper support for your back. Simply taking breaks to stand up and walk around can prevent muscle and eye strain. Adjustable keyboards and those that offer wrist support also make for good investments.
Touching back on computers for a moment, looking at a computer screen for long periods of time without breaks has the potential to lead to eye strain. Eyes can become dry and irritated if workers don’t blink enough. Screen glare can compound the chance for eye strain.
It’s best to take a 10-minute break away from your computer for every hour you look at a screen to give your eyes a rest. Additionally, closing nearby blinds and windows and turning down the intensity of overhead lights are also great ideas.
Tempers can run high in the office, which has the potential to boil over into workplace violence. Besides violence between employees, there’s also a chance that customers or clients can become violent. Implementing a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence is a step in the right direction, as is taking verbal threats seriously and addressing conflict as soon as it starts to spark. Employees should know whom to talk to if they are being threatened by an employee, customer, client, or anyone else.
While not every workplace injury can be prevented, implementing preventative measures can go a long way in keeping employees safe. Such measures better ensure overall productivity, better employee health, and less absenteeism.