According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 75 office and administrative support workers that suffered fatal work injuries in 2013. While offices are generally safe, there are common injuries that affect tens of thousands of office workers every year. Below explains three unexpected injuries that often occur in the office.
Falling down is one of the most common office accidents. One of the leading causes is tripping over an object, cord or loose carpeting. It can also happen from broken or unstable chairs. According to the Center for Disease Control(CDC), clutter, floor holes and unstable walking surfaces also contribute to fall incidents at work. Slipping on wet floors due to spills or the effects of inclement weather are also serious hazards. Finally, falling off a ladder can cause serious harm to anyone. Even worse, office workers sometimes use a chair or stack of boxes to reach high items. Always keep pathways clear and free of any tripping hazards. Be sure to report any liquid spills or broken things that should be fixed.
Musculoskeletal strains due to improper lifting or repetitive motions frequently occur among office workers. TheDepartment of Labor (DOL) states that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the leading causes of injuries and illnesses at work. In fact, the BLS estimates that MSDs were responsible for over 30 percent of all injuries in 2011. Improper lifting, pushing heavy loads, constant bending and awkward positions can cause musculoskeletal injuries to the back, neck and shoulders. Before lifting any heavy or cumbersome object, first consider the object’s weight, shape and stability. Musculoskeletal strains can be reduced through ergonomic improvements and proper training.
Office injuries aren’t all unexpected accidents. In reality, many minor injuries and disorders result from long term, repetitive motions. Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) often affect the hands and wrists. However, improperly adjusted desks, chairs, monitors and keyboards will result in neck, back, arm and eye strain. RSI often occurs among office workers who work in front of a computer every day. According to the Department of Labor, every computer workstation should be manually adjusted to match the office worker’s body.
In summary, office workers are also at risk for certain injuries, such as falls, strains and ergonomic injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer if your workplace does not offer federally mandated workers’ compensation benefits.