The real hazards of the office environment

Although you may believe that your office is a safe place, the reality is that there are dangers there. There are office-based hazards that could lead to injuries for those inside, even though they may not seem apparent on a day-to-day basis.

While offices are a safer environment than some workplaces, that doesn't mean that you should be too relaxed about safety. There are common accidents that could end up seriously harming you or your co-workers.

One of the most common issues is falling in the workplace. It's easy to trip or slip and fall on wet floors or bunched carpet. Open desks, file drawers, wires or electrical cords could also trip you up, leading to injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that office workers are up to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a fall and disabling injury than those who don't work in offices.

Lifting injuries are also common. These are injuries that take place when you try to pick up an object or carry an object at an awkward angle. Due to weight or position, it's possible to pull muscles, tear ligaments and suffer serious injuries.

The good news is that these are avoidable injuries. By letting your employer know about areas of carpet that have pulled up, putting up signs to let co-workers know that the floors are wet and by maintaining a clear and clean environment, the risk of falls is greatly reduced. If you need help lifting, ask. Remember to bend with your knees to reduce the strain on your back. If you do get hurt, report it. A workers' compensation claim helps you get the medical care, and financial support, you need as you recover.

Source: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, "Environmental Health & Safety," accessed May 03, 2018

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