When you think about seeking workers’ compensation for an injury, you might imagine getting hurt using heavy machinery or working on a factory line. The reality is that you can get hurt in almost any setting.
In fact, one of the places where hundreds of people get hurt each year is an office. The office environment is unique because it’s usually completely indoors, requires workers to sit the majority of the time and encourages them to type, use computers, or write for many hours at a time. Though these are not the most athletic actions, they can lead to injuries.
What are the most common injuries in offices?
Office workers are most likely to suffer from falls. Falls in offices are also around 2 to 2.5 times more likely to cause a disabling injury to an office worker than a non-office worker. Why? Reasons ranging from what the workers wear (a lack of personal protective equipment, high heels) to being in close quarters with sharp or dangerous items (sharp corners of desks, scissors, copiers, heavy items) mean that these workers are more likely to suffer from a disabling injury.
What are the most common causes of falls in an office setting?
The most common causes of falls in an office setting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Slipping on wet floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Using a chair instead of a ladder
- Tripping over electrical cords or wires, loose carpeting, open desks or drawers, or on objects in hallways or walkways
- Reaching or bending for something while in an unstable office chair
Since falls are so common in offices, it’s important to look at ways to mitigate your risk. To prevent falls, you can:
- Use stepladders if you need to reach something
- Keep your office fall-proof by cleaning up slick spills
- Get up instead of stretching for something out of your reach
- Clean up walkways and look carefully if you’re walking through a cluttered area
If you do get hurt in your office, those injuries should be taken seriously. You have a right to seek workers’ compensation and to get the medical care you need for any injury that you suffer on the job.