What Are The Most Common Office Work Injuries?
When most people think about maintaining safety in the workplace, they think about jobs in construction or warehouses where workers are constantly moving, carrying heavy objects and working with industrial machinery. However, those aren’t the only workplaces where safety is a concern.
Even your average white-collar office can still be an unsafe environment if not well-maintained. You can prevent most injuries by being mindful of your own health and behavior and ensuring that the office environment is taken care of.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Possibly the most common work-related injuries in an office are known as repetitive motion injuries. These happen when you do the same thing over and over, putting significant amounts of strain on very specific muscles and joints without stretching or resting.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a frequent occurrence in offices that comes from typing on keyboards frequently without rest or care for the strain it puts on your hands and wrists. Certain exercises and equipment for your workspace can help you avoid it.
Even the most relaxed office can create the conditions for a dangerous fall if there is no care taken to keep the walkways clear and well-lit. Cords and drawers left open can trip people, and plants or other short objects in common areas can cause a fall if someone isn’t looking where they’re going.
Anytime there are high cabinets and footstools or ladders are necessary to get something, there is the danger of a fall. Casually climbing on a chair to get something down in the office kitchen may not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly go wrong. Workplace safety requires careful attention to all different parts of the office environment.
Sick Building Syndrome
This problem isn’t an injury, exactly, but it’s a common health problem that comes with the particular office environment. The air in your office may become filled with dirty materials and mold over time, and that buildup will have significant effects on your health.
No matter where you work, you should find time in your day to get outside and walk around in the fresh air. Ideally, however, the employer should also work to improve filtration and air quality in your work environment.
Another serious and common health hazard in the office isn’t triggered by a particular event but can occur as a result of physically unhealthy conditions over time. Poor posture and sitting for extended periods without movement can lead to serious, painful injuries to your neck, shoulders and back over time.
Luckily, there are many easy ways to prevent these problems. You can find chairs and desks built especially to improve your posture or even encourage you to stand up. It is also helpful to set time for yourself to take regular breaks to get up from your desk and move around, at least a couple of times during the day. Sitting still for long periods of time can also contribute to other illnesses if you don’t stretch and exercise properly.