According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 20,000 workers are injured annually in office workplaces. And while some injuries are beyond our control, there are several things we can do to minimize our risk. Most companies have basic safety protocols that protect their employees, but there are additional steps we can take to stay safe.
Here are some tips to help you avoid injuries in the office workplace.
1. Use proper ergonomics.
Proper ergonomics means arranging workstations, including chairs, desks, computers, and phones, to minimize strain on the body. When possible, adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the ground and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your wrists in a neutral position when typing, and take frequent breaks to stretch your arms, neck, and legs.
Some offices offer ergonomic assessments to ensure that workers are set up in a way that reduces their risk of injury. These assessments involve an ergonomics specialist who evaluates the workplace to identify potential risks and suggests ways to reduce them. Take advantage of these resources if they are available. They can help you stay comfortable and productive.
2. Be aware of your surroundings.
Office workplaces can be full of potential hazards, so it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for loose wires, wet floors, broken doors, and cluttered walkways. And if you’re working in a shared space, be considerate of others by cleaning up after yourself and keeping noise to a minimum.
You should also report any potential hazards you notice to facility management or the appropriate person in your office. If you see a door that’s difficult to open or close, facility management may be able to help by installing continuous door hinges, which will make the door easier to use and reduce the risk of injury. The hinge will better support the door’s weight and ensure that it lasts longer than a traditional hinge.
3. Wear protective gear when necessary.
If you’re working with hazardous materials or in a dangerous environment, wear the appropriate protective gear, such as safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, and gloves. This will help protect you from potential dangers and reduce the risk of injury. Many office-related injuries could be avoided simply by following basic safety protocols.
Protective gear for corporate office spaces might include closed-toe shoes, a comfortable chair, and proper desk height, and regular breaks to prevent eyestrain and other aches. These small steps can significantly impact your physical health and well-being. You should also take advantage of company-provided health and wellness programs to stay informed about the latest safety guidelines.
4. Take care of yourself.
This may seem common sense, but it’s worth repeating: eat healthy meals, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. A healthy body is better able to heal itself in the event of an injury, so taking care of yourself now will pay off down the road. Most office workplaces offer employee wellness programs to help you stay in shape, so take advantage of these programs if they are available.
Some companies even offer workplace flexibility, like allowing employees to work from home or have flexible schedules. This can help reduce stress and make the work environment healthier for everyone. Try to find a job that takes your physical and mental health into consideration to help you stay safe in the office.
5. Know your rights.
Familiarize yourself with your company’s workplace safety policies and know your employee rights. This way, if an injury does occur, you’ll know what steps to take next—including whether or not you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the workplace. You have the right to work in an environment that is safe, and your employer should be willing to make changes to ensure your safety
If you get injured at work, follow your company’s protocol and seek medical attention if necessary. Don’t let fear of reprisal keep you from making sure that the injury is taken care of properly. The important thing is to stay safe and get back to work as soon as possible.
While accidents can happen anywhere at any time, there are several things we can do to reduce our risk of being injured in the office workplace. By following these tips and being aware of our surroundings, we can ensure that our workplace is a safe and healthy environment. With the right knowledge and resources, you can make sure you stay safe and healthy while on the job.