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Office workplace injury hazards: Are you at risk?

Every workplace has its hazards. This means that even the most relaxed office environment can pose risks to the workers who are there.

Office injuries are actually very similar to the injuries that happen in other places. For instance, falls are a leading cause of accidents. Another risk is tripping. Repetitive-strain injuries are a third risk that many office workers are exposed to.

Why are falls so common in offices?

One of the reasons is because it's more common to have fall hazards in an office space. For example, someone could use a chair to reach a light instead of using a ladder. A person might run into a room without adequate lighting and fall. They could reach for something when in an unstable chair and fall. They could also trip on open desk drawers or slip on papers left on the floor.

Why are lifting injuries possible in offices?

It may not seem like lifting injuries should be common in offices, but they are. To be safe when lifting, you need to ask for assistance if something is heavy. Always squat and lift with your knees, not your back.

What are repetitive-strain injuries?

Repetitive-strain injuries are injuries that occur due to the overuse of muscles, joints, ligaments or tendons. In offices, that could result from many different situations. A person writing for hours on end could develop carpal tunnel or other wrist or arm conditions from long hours of using their hands.

Other repetitive-strain injuries could include neck, shoulder or back injuries from repetitive movements done on the job.

How can workers avoid injuries in an office?

One of the best ways to avoid injury is through the use of ergonomic workstations. A workstation that is set up correctly makes it easy to see the screen of a computer or the pages of documents without straining. They're also set up to support your neck, shoulders and spine in alignment. Having a proper foot rest is another major help in keeping your back in good position throughout the work day.

Always adjust your seating so that your thighs are horizontal with the floor. Your elbows should also be horizontal when you type or use your arms in front of you in a seated position. Also, to help with your eyesight, reduce glare on computer screens and lower blinds. This can help you retain your sight and reduce strain on your eyes.

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