You may think working in a comfy, climate-controlled office is safe and hazard-free; however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports tens of thousands of injuries or work-related health problems that office workers suffer each year. While it is true that working in an office environment may pose fewer safety risks than those working in manufacturing, law enforcement, or healthcare environments, office jobs come with their own unique risks that should not be ignored.
Here are the four most common injuries that occur in the office:
Slip and Fall Accidents
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) cites falling as the most common office-related accident. In fact, the CDC found that office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer an injury from a fall than non-office workers. The most common causes of office falls include:
- Slipping on wet floors
- Reaching for something while sitting in an unstable chair
- Tripping over loose carpeting, electrical cords, an open file drawer, or objects in walkways
- Using a chair instead of a ladder
- Poor lighting/visibility
Back, Shoulder and Neck Strain
Back, shoulder, and neck injuries are usually sustained by working in the same position for hours on end (usually for an eight-hour workday, five days per week) and/or from poor posture. But a few simple changes in the way you work can make your pain vanish, such as maintaining a relaxed, neutral posture and getting up at least once an hour, which can reduce pressure on spinal disks and boosts circulation.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are one of the fastest growing occupational injuries, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Any job that requires you sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time or repeatedly perform the same manual tasks puts you at risk of developing a repetitive stress injury. One of the most common types of repetitive stress injuries sustained in an office setting is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Spending a large portion of your workday staring at a computer screen can cause eye strain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eyes may become dry and irritated, and workers may begin having trouble focusing. To reduce eye strain and fatigue, OSHA recommends taking a 10-minute break for every hour you spend looking at a computer screen, giving your eyes a break and focusing on things at varying distances.
If you have been injured on the job in an office setting, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries. The team at Dugan & Associates is here for you, and we're ready to look at your case. Contact us for a consultation.