No one can deny that construction workers face danger every day at work. And while chances are you are not going to encounter as many, or as severe, safety issues in an office setting, that doesn’t mean safety isn’t an issue for office workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that approximately 80,000 office workers suffer on-the-job injuries each year. What is especially troubling about this number is that most of these injuries could have been prevented.
So what are the most common injuries that occur in office buildings across the country each day?
1. Slips, trips, and falls are the most common injuries that occur in the office. And while it may come as a surprise, a person is more likely to sustain a fall injury in an office setting than anywhere else.
2. Fire safety is critical in an office environment. Space heaters and worn-out electrical cords can spark fires and blocked fire sprinklers or exit doors can make a situation go from bad to worse in no time.
3. Many injuries occur when an employee is struck by or caught in an object. Open desk or filing-cabinet draws and overloaded shelves are common culprits.
4. Working at a computer all day can cause strains, posture problems, and repetitive movement injuries.
5. Looking at a computer screen for eight hours leads to eyestrain. It also can lead to dry, irritated eyes and trouble focusing.
6. Contagious illnesses are a huge issue in a closed office environment. One sick employee can quickly spread a cold or flu throughout the entire office.
7. Poor air quality, contaminants, and poor ventilation can lead to any number of infections or illnesses. When things like dust, pollen, dirt, or bacteria build up on carpet and other surfaces, workers have a hard time staying healthy.
8. While so-called “normal” stress is a part of almost every job, and can actually serve as motivation to perform at a high level, other types of stress can cause a wide-range of physical ailments. Unhealthy stress occurs when an employee has unrealistic demands and/or unreasonable deadlines placed on him or her.
Most, if not all, office injuries and safety hazards are easily preventable. The key is to make sure all employees receive safety training on how to stay safe and healthy at work. Employees also need to feel safe bringing their concerns to the attention of their superiors without worrying about facing negative consequences. After all, safe and healthy employees are more productive employees.