While working in an office may not be as dangerous as, say, working on a commercial fishing vessel or for a logging operation, you still run the risk of suffering serious, debilitating injuries and illnesses whenever you clock in. Some office workplace hazards, such as those you can trip over, can be largely avoided just be being more careful and organized.
Others, however, such as air quality issues, can prove harder to recognize. Because symptoms associated with hazardous substances or chemicals in the air often do not develop until long after the initial exposure, it can prove difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of your struggles. Here are some of today’s most common office-environment accidents, so you can learn to avoid them or reduce the risk of them wherever possible.
Slips and falls
There are numerous factors in an office environment that may make you more likely to suffer a slip-and-fall accident. Open drawers, boxes placed on the floor and loose wiring or carpeting can all lead to this type of accident. Spilled water or coffee can also cause you to fall, as can moisture left behind after a coworker tracks in water or slush from the outdoors. Poor lighting is also a frequent factor in office slip-and-fall incidents, but all of these risk factors can be reduced with some careful planning. Keeping the office organized, having floor mats positioned at entryways to absorb moisture and improving lighting should all help reduce your risk of a fall at the office.
Staring at a computer screen for an extended period can lead to vision problems, and factors such as the amount of glare on the screen and whether you have appropriate lighting, too, can cause eye issues and vision problems. Taking care to keep blinds or curtains closed can help reduce your risk of developing eye strain and associated hardships, as can enlarging the font size on your computer screen and making sure it is positioned appropriately, which typically means positioning it just below your eye level.
Back and ergonomic issues
Sitting in certain positions for long periods of time can lead to back, neck and ergonomic issues, but there are steps you can take to better position yourself to avoid such problems. Maintaining good posture is one method of reducing this type of injury, as is adjusting your computer or desk chair’s height so that both your feet are able to be planted squarely on the ground.
These are some of the more common injuries and issues experienced by today’s office workers, but this is not a comprehensive list. If you are experiencing injuries or other problems you believe came about because of something in your workplace, consider contacting an attorney.