Many assume that workplace accidents occur only in industrial settings where there are greater risks of injury and even death. While industrial workers may be more likely to sustain an injury, office workers are in no way immune to workplace injuries.
According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, working in an office environment poses unique risks that other industrial workers may not encounter. Falls are the most common risk factor, with office workers being 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury compared to non-office workers due to a fall.
With often tight workspaces or walkways, limited storage for office supplies, outdated workstations and lack of awareness of office dangers, employees can be especially prone to unexpected injury.
Office injuries differ from injuries in an industrial setting and often include things like:
- Injuries as a result of trips and falls
- Injuries as a result of objects falling from unsecure locations on high cabinets or shelves
- Musculoskeletal problems due to poor workstation ergonomics or repetitive movements
- Eye strain from staring at electronic devices for long hours
In addition, sitting for long periods of time can lead to health problems as employees age, adding another long-term factor to office-related injuries.
Tips to Minimize Risk
Despite the risks involved, there are plenty of ways to avoid or reduce your changes of injury in the office. With the first step of being aware of potential hazards, the next step is to adjust your activities and environment.
Follow safe lifting tips, including squatting towards the floor and using your legs instead of arms or back to support the weight. Ask for help when needed and avoid reaching heavy objects from high places without proper support.
Optimize your workplace ergonomics to fit your body, avoiding potential musculoskeletal problems over time. Taking breaks and shifting positions can also help break up injury due to repetitive movements.
Prevent in-office falls by being proactive. This means paying attention to where you are walking or stepping, cleaning up spills or dropped objects promptly, keeping drawers and cabinets closed and reporting any stray cords or loose carpeting to facility maintenance.
Hold office safety meetings to ensure that all employees are aware of the risks and are willing to help create a more safe office environment.
If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury in an office, the personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Apter are knowledgeable and experienced to handle your case. To learn more about our services or to set up a free consultation contact us today.