Top 5 Injuries in an Office Setting
Office based jobs rarely ever make the list of the most dangerous jobs in America. Nonetheless, office employees are still at risk of potentially being injured by workplace hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 2.4 injury/illness cases reported per 100 workers within administrative and support services. Within the educational services sector, there were 2.1 cases per 100 workers.
While these cases might seem low compared to the construction industry, below are some of the more common types of workplace injuries reported.
Concussion – Typically brought on by slips, trips and falls, a concussion can occur due to unattended spills, wet floors, exposed cable cords, loose rugs and cluttered areas. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, confusion, dizziness and nausea. It is important to note that a person does not always lose consciousness, which is why it is so important to be aware of all the possible symptoms of head trauma.
Bruising, cuts and scrapes – Another common injury caused by falls also includes bruising, cuts and scrapes. While it may not seem like a serious injury, for elderly employees, this could lead to difficult walking and even embarrassment from bruising that is difficult to cover up. Employers should be mindful of how clutter and disorganized wiring can lead to injuries.
Strains – These types of injuries can be caused by overuse as well as straining to lift something heavy or reach for something. It is easy for someone to think they can move that large box of paper, but incorrectly picking the box up can lead to a back sprain. Carpal tunnel is often caused by repeated hand and wrist movements, like typing eight hours a day. Employers can minimize the potential for carpal tunnel by providing employees with ergonomic keyboards and mousepads.
Burns – A burn might occur from a coffee machine, but it could also occur during an office fire if an employer failed to provide adequate fire safety provisions. While office fires are not common, they could be caused due to faulty electrical wiring.
Illness – While not necessarily an injury, office illnesses can lead to lost wages. In serious cases, those that could lead to premises liability claims, an employee may suffer a life-threatening illness. Mold and asbestos are two dangers that could be lurking in an office setting. Furthermore, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease throughout the U.S. have led to some workplaces being tested for the bacteria.
Employers should ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment while employees should follow employer rules and regulations to minimize the risk of injury or illness.