Office Safety

office safetyOffice Safety Talk

Most of the efforts to make a company safer are put into what is considered high-hazard work. For example, in a construction setting, the majority of energy is almost always focused on keeping the workers in the field safe. While it is very important to address the hazards and safety in the field, there is still a need for safety for those workers in offices in the company.

There are tens of thousands of injuries sustained by office workers every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is significant, and safety in the office should be taken seriously.

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Common Office Injuries

  • Falls are the most common type of office injury. Office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury from a fall than non-office workers. Tripping over clutter or an open file drawer are some reasons office workers sustain injuries from a fall.
  • Strains and sprains due to lifting objects also occur often in the office. Office workers are usually not trained on proper lifting techniques to use when moving objects. Lifting awkward or heavy objects alone also leads to injuries.
  • Ergonomic-related injuries are common in an office setting. A work area that is not set up correctly to fit the user can lead to ergonomic injuries and issues over time.

Safe Work Practices for the Office

  • Maintain a clean and tidy work area. Never leave objects on the floor or in an area where you or others can trip over them. Always make sure file drawers are closed immediately after you open them.
  • Eliminate the amount of awkward or heavy lifts around the office. If you have a heavy box, set it down on a table instead of the ground. This saves you or someone else from having to bend down to pick it. When you have to lift an object, use the buddy system if it is a heavy or awkward load. Always use proper lifting techniques.
  • Set up your office work area to fit your body. Every piece of your office should be adjusted to fit you specifically. Pick a chair that is adjusted to where your thighs are parallel to the floor, your feet are on the ground, and your lower back is supported. Have your desk at a height where your arms make a 90-degree angle, and your wrists are straight.
  • Have a document holder or a second computer screen to avoid looking down and back up to copy information into another document.

Discussion points:

-Does anyone know of someone outside of our company who was injured working in an office?

-What can we do to make our office(s) safer?

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