Many people assume that offices are among the safest places from accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, this is a very wrong assumption as records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor show that offices are places where accidents frequently occur.
In 2012 alone, nearly 3 million non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries were recorded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); these include those that occurred in industrial and construction sites. Though office employees may be safe from the more dangerous chemicals, heavy equipment and dangerous tools other workers are exposed to everyday, they too have their own share of hazards.
The most common injuries sustained by office workers are repetitive strain injuries, sprains and strains, neck, head and/or back injuries, and electrocution. These are usually caused one or a combination of any of the following:
- Trips/slips or falls. Among all types of accidents in the workplace, slips or falls are the most common. In a number of cases, these even lead to disabling injuries. Tripping over an open desk drawer or loose carpeting, using a stack of boxes or a chair (rather than a ladder), bending while seated in a non-sturdy chair, inadequate lighting, and slipping on wet floor are just some of the reasons why these type of accidents occur.
- Overexertion and strains. These are due to lifting of large and/or heavy objects,more so if these are lifted incorrectly.
- Improper storing in the storage room or in working areas. These mistakes are committed by piling materials too high, placing very heavy objects on high shelves, disorderly piling which result to blocked doors, fire-fighting equipment or fire exits.
- Indoor ventilation, air quality and proper lighting. Falling objects, tripping or slipping are not the only sources of dangers in office environments, quality of air, proper ventilation and proper illumination are also major factors that make working always conducive. These are elements so many employers oversee, though, despite their great important for all types of work.
- Electrical wiring. Some employees never care about extension cords, computer wires or headphone wires running across hallways or which are untidily scattered in their working area – a clear source of risk not only to their co-employees but to them as well.
- Noise. Noise is unwanted sound and it is often caused by human voices. Noise is a clear source of interference, annoyance and major distractions, especially to those engaged in mental activities, such as writing and/or researching. Noise can reduce performance, as well as increase errors, in activities that greatly require mental concentration. Affected individuals often resort to means that will minimize unwanted noise as much as possible, like using headphones for music that will help drown the unwanted noise. These means, however, are not always effective as these can lead to unnoticed dangers that the concerned individual may sustain injuries from.
According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm, employees, even in seemingly safe workplaces, such as offices, are always at risk of suffering a serious workplace injury. Some injuries, in fact, have left many employees in serious condition, unable to continue working, either for a period of time or in some instances, permanently. Employees who suffer these serious conditions need the best legal help they can get for a strong court representation which would help them claim the compensation they may deserve.Read More