5 Common Office Accidents (and How to Prevent Them)

March 01 02:54 2021

An office environment might not seem like a place where work accidents can happen often, but it is. Employees spend a large amount of their time on the phone, typing, or writing from a seated position. Hand or wrist pain, neck pain, and vision strains are common developments from this type of work.

Injuries are not only limited to this area. Poor ventilation, air quality or light quality, misplaced objects that can be tripped over, faulty electrical cords, and furniture or other office equipment that is not well-maintained can all be sources of injuries.

Knowing the causes of injuries, and how to prevent them, is imperative to any work environment. With that in mind, let’s take a look into common office accidents.

1 – Falls

The most common cause of falls in the office are poor lighting, using a chair instead of a ladder, and tripping. Usually in hallways or walkways due to loose carpeting, electrical wires or cords, open file or desk drawer, slipping on wet floors, etc.

These falls can be prevented by implementing some simple safety measures, such as the following:

  • Keep a fall-proof office. Clean up spills as soon as they happen or are found, keep objects in their designated places, keep drawers closed when not in use, etc.

  • Look before you walk to make sure your pathway is clear.

  • Use a stepladder. Do not use a chair to elevate to reach something.

  • Loose carpeting, electrical cords, or any misplaced object that requires other means of professional fixing needs to be reported immediately.

2 – Falling, flying, or fixed objects

This type of injury occurs when office workers get in or between objects, are hit by falling objects, or bump into objects and suffer injury. Other sources of similar injuries are hair and jewelry caught in machines, fingers caught in drawers, windows, or paper cutters.

The key to avoiding such injuries is staying alert. Watch where you walk, keep your concentration on your surroundings, open doors cautiously, and be mindful of jewelry and the placement of your fingers.

3 – Workstation

Workstation-related injuries often happen over the course of weeks and months, as repetitive actions wear down your health or that of your employees. With that in mind, here’s how you can prevent common workstation-related injuries.

  • Use the least force necessary to type or staple.

  • Adjust keyboard height so that elbows are 90-degrees and the waist is straight.

  • Adjust the chair to keep thighs horizontal with the floor, backrest supports lower back, feet are flat.

  • Keep top of the monitor screen at eye-level.

  • Keep computer screen glare-free.

  • Keep papers at the same level as a monitor by using document holders.

4 – Lifting

Lifting anything can lead to injury if the task is performed improperly. Here’s how you can prevent lifting-related injuries.

  • Keep your back straight.

  • Squat to lift and use legs to straighten up.

  • When putting an object down, do not use the back for strength, use legs.

  • Use entire hands to grab and lift objects when possible.

5 – Straining

Objects stored in high places, pulling, carrying, lifting, pushing, and throwing all lead to strain injuries. Which usually involves pulling a joint or a muscle in a bad way. With that in mind, here’s how strain injuries can be prevented.

  • Get up when needing to reach for something instead of straining to reach it while seated.

  • Keep commonly used items within reach.

  • Use ladders for high placed objects.

While some accidents are more dangerous than others, it’s important that managers and other areas of the company be able to keep track of what injuries are happening, when, and why. A good
safety management platform can make tracking these incidents easier.

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