As you sit there at your desk sipping your coffee and finishing up your quarterly reports, chances are you are not thinking about office injury statistics. While it is true that working in an office environment may pose less safety risks than those working in manufacturing, law enforcement, or health care environments, office jobs come with their own unique risks that should not be ignored.
Office Injuries: Common Causes and Statistics
According to a 2014 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2013. What is the most common office injury?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) cites falling as the most common office related accident. In fact, the CDC found that office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer an injury from a fall than non-office workers. The most common causes of office falls include:
- Slipping on wet floors
- Reaching for something while sitting in an unstable chair
- Tripping over loose carpeting, electrical cords, an open file drawer, or objects in walkways
- Using a chair instead of a ladder
- Poor lighting/visibility
Ergonomically Incorrect Workstations
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, “Adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Each year, MSDs account for more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs.
Conditions that can lead to MSD problems include:
- Repetitive movements that increase pressure on nerves and irritate tendons.
- Sitting in awkward positions, or straining neck to look at a computer screen that is too high or too low.
- Static postures and lack of breaks
Homicide is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. In fact, of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the U.S. in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. One of the best ways employers can prevent workplace violence is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward violence in the workplace and implement a workplace violence prevention program.
If a serious workplace injury happens in your office, it is recommended that you leave cleanup to a professional remediation company like Aftermath Services. Hiring a cleanup company can help prevent costly OSHA fines and other potentially serious complications.
National and local companies trust Aftermath for biohazard remediation services to return the site to full safety as quickly as possible and help minimize business interruption. Contact an Aftermath representative today.