The people who work in an office environment are just as susceptible to an accident as any other type of work area. Some office accidents happen instantaneously, while others can take years to show their effects. All office workers need to be able to identify the most common office accidents and know how to avoid being injured.

Trips And Falls

The most common types of office accidents are tripping over items and falling, or falls in general. These occur when:

  • Someone leaves an obstacle in a walkway and someone trips over it
  • A worker falls from their chair while overextending to grab something
  • Insufficient lighting in a room prevents a worker from being able to see where they are going
  • Two workers do not see each other at a merging hallway and run into each other

These types of accidents are often the result of carelessness on the part of the office workers. There should be enforced safety rules that make workers pick up files, boxes, or anything else that is not in its proper place. Every room should have adequate lighting, and there should be a quarterly training on how to avoid slips and falls in an office setting.

Lifting

People in offices tend to be careless when it comes to lifting objects. A box that may look small could be very heavy, and not properly lifting that box could result in a serious injury. As part of the quarterly safety training, it is important to remind workers about the proper ways to lift heavy objects in an office setting. Some good rules include:

  • Always bend at the knees when lifting
  • Do a quick weight check on an item before actually starting to lift it
  • Never hesitate to ask someone to help lift something
  • Never lift an object higher than your shoulders
  • Always keep your back in a straight position when lifting

Back and shoulder strains from improperly lifting heavy objects can linger for weeks and potentially get worse. Management should enforce heavy lifting policies to make sure that workers do not wind up injuring themselves.

Ergonomics

Earlier we talked about office injuries that sometimes take years to show their effects, and those injuries deal with office ergonomics. Most office workers sit for hours a day and work at a computer or some other sort of stationary work station. Over the course of years in the same positions, your body will begin to develop chronic pain in the back, shoulders, wrists, and forearms. These types of strain injuries can often require surgery and can even prevent a worker from doing their job.

There are two solutions to these types of injuries. The company needs to invest in ergonomic office furniture that puts worker’s bodies in the proper position and helps to prevent these types of strain injuries. The other part of the solution is to insist that workers take two breaks an hour of around five minutes where they get up, walk around, and stretch.

Office injuries are just as potentially dangerous as any other type of work site. An employer needs to develop strategies for dealing with these injuries and create regular training sessions that help employees to avoid getting hurt at work.