If you asked the majority of Americans to picture a “dangerous workplace,” it is highly unlikely that most would envision an office environment. However, millions of Americans work in offices and an office environment can be surprisingly dangerous.
Of course, many office workers are prone to carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries related to repetitive motions. However, it may surprise you to learn that the most common office injury is falling.
Why are falls so common in office environments?
Tripping is a very common cause of office falls. For instance, many offices have extension cords strung out across the hallways. Older office buildings may have carpet that has stretched over the years and does not lie flat on certain parts of the floor. Sometimes coworkers will leave file drawers open when done using them. These are all very common sources of fall injuries.
Another common reason for falls is that many office workers try to stand on chairs to reach things in high places. Particularly if the chair has wheels, it is very easy to fall and sustain an injury.
How can I prevent falls?
Make sure that you do everything you can to keep your work environment safe. For instance, if you open a file drawer, make sure to close it right after you finish your task. Otherwise, somebody may trip over the open drawer. If you notice an electrical cord running across a hallway or dangerously rumpled carpet, report it to management.
Finally, always make sure to fetch a step ladder or stool if you are reaching something above your head. Do not stand on a chair for this purpose.