What Are the Five Most Common Work Injuries That Happen in an Office Environment?

What Are the Five Most Common Work Injuries That Happen in an Office Environment?

One might think that an office is a safe place to work. It is certainly safer than a job in manufacturing or a career in law enforcement, but it does pose risks. It is estimated that there are over 3 million private industry injuries reported annually.

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Overexertion injuries are the most common and costly type of workplace injury. An object does not have to be heavy to cause injuries when lifting. Injuries typically occur by using improper lifting techniques.

Always ask for assistance when lifting a heavy or bulky item that may block vision. Your back should remain straight while you bend at the knee. Grasp the object and stand. This puts the majority of the work on your legs rather than back.

Tripping and Falls

According to the Center for Disease Control, office workers are two times more likely to suffer an injury in a fall than non-office workers. Most common falls could be prevented.

  • Slippery or wet floors.
  • Standing on a chair instead of a ladder.
  • Tripping over loose carpeting.
  • Tripping over items in a walkway.
  • Tripping over cables.

Reaction injuries commonly occur while trying to avoid a fall. The body tenses as the person attempts to right themselves. This most commonly results in injuries to the neck and back. In many cases, it would have been safer to fall.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel or bursitis are common complaints among office workers who spend a lot of time typing or doing other repetitive tasks. Early symptoms of carpal tunnel frequently include numbness or tingling in the fingers and hand.

Encourage the employer to utilize ergonomic equipment whenever possible. Take frequent breaks to increase circulation. Consult a physician as soon as possible after symptoms appear.

Workplace Violence

Homicide is the fourth leading cause of occupational fatalities in the United States. Workplace violence may be defined as any harassment, physical assault or threat of bodily harm. Office employees who handle money, work alone or deal with customer complaints are at most risk.

Employers should have a zero-tolerance for workplace violence and have a prevention program in place. Security cameras and proper lighting, both interior and exterior, should be installed for employee safety. Parking lot escorts for night-shift workers is another effective safeguard.

Impact Injuries

This type of injury may sound absurd, but it happens quite frequently. It has become more common with the advent of cell phones. People become preoccupied and walk into walls, doors and glass barriers. Very clean glass can become invisible. Place a picture or decals on solid glass walls and doors to alert people of its presence. The best way to prevent these types of injuries is to simply remain alert and aware of your surroundings.

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