Updated: Dec 20, 2021
A job where most of the work tasks are completed whist sitting in a chair in an office would seem less fraught with danger. However, a surprising number of hazards can be present in an office.
The most common source of injury in an office are falls, injuries caused by strike of an
object and ergonomic injuries. Some simple changes to the work space can be effective
in eliminating hazards and reducing the number of injuries.
Administrative reviews, such as regular walk throughs and the establishment of a formal
reporting system can help protect your team in the office environment.
Stay Clutter Free
Take a page out of Marie Knodo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” and
remove any clutter from the office. These can create a trip hazard if left in a walkway
or can fall if stacked in a pile. Clutter can also cause electrical hazards if items are
piled near outlets and cords. Not to mention it also creates a more pleasing work
Step On Up
We have done it before, and we all know it is dangerous. Standing on
chairs, especially rolling office chairs are significant hazards. No one wants to be
next YouTube star from falling off a chair. Get a step ladder if you need to reach
something at elevated height.
Proper storage of heavy items can help reduce the number of office injuries. Large stacks of materials and heavy equipment can cause major injuries if they are knocked over. Store heavy objects close to the floor and ensure the load capacity of shelves or storage units is not exceeded. Consider the amount of paper you store in the office.
Our team have had to prop floors up from below before allowing people into a building due to weight of paper stored on a floor above. Another great reason to become paperless!
Keep Your Feet On The Floor
Do your feet touch the floor while seated at your desk? Often workers have to jack their chairs up to reach their keyboard and mouse as their desk is too high for them.
If feet are not on the floor, their posture is incorrect and they will receive pain and discomfort. Ensure staff ergonomics are correct.
See our free poster for correct ergonomic posture.
Let Someone Else Hold It
Neck strain is a common complaint in an office, an easy way to rid this is by
providing document holders. By having documents upright near the computer
screen the worker is eliminating excessive motion and preventing
muscle imbalances. The holders are great for doing those eye exercises that
your yoga teacher encourages!
Get a Grip
Carpet and other skid resistant surfaces can serve to reduce slips and falls. Concrete and tiles can become slippery (particularly when wet) placing carpet or mats down can be especially helpful at entrance ways, where people are likely to be coming in with wet
Eek a Mouse!
Most workstations include a mouse and keyboard. By keeping these
two aligned and in close proximity to each other you reduce strain on the
neck and shoulders. Good posture and neck / arm exercises is also encouraged.
Get Off That Chair!
The best thing for any office worker is to get up and move in regular intervals.
Go for a walk around the block, stretch out those arm and get that blood
flowing. Your body will thank you for it!