Working in an office can be a safe, even boring job. You don’t have to drive a vehicle or handle dangerous machinery in most cases. Your work is more intellectual or administrative than it is physical labor.
Some people incorrectly assume that because office workers don’t work in a factory setting or interact frequently with potentially volatile members of the public that their jobs are risk-free. However, office workers can suffer significant injuries at work. Many of them may not involve a dramatic injury but rather the slow accumulation of damage to the body over time.
What are the biggest risks in an office setting?
Eight hours at a desk can damage your body
Sitting is the most dangerous thing about working in an office, and doing it improperly or with inadequate support can be particularly problematic for office workers. Leaning forward toward a computer all day can lead to forward head posture condition, which can cause headaches, muscle spasms and even decreased lung capacity.
Sitting without lumbar support or while leaning forward can also do damage to the lower back. Workers may experience worsening chronic pain or may even have decreased range of motion in their backs and hips.
Typing and handling office equipment can lead to repetitive stress injuries
One of the top causes for office workers to seek workers’ compensation benefits is the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Like other repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome develops a little bit at a time because a worker has to do the same tasks over and over. Typing, gripping a phone or even opening letters all day could cause repetitive stress injuries to the hands and forearms.
Falls and equipment are a danger at any workplace
A worker could easily fall down the stairs at the office or slip because someone spilled their coffee and didn’t stop to clean it. Falls snd the injuries they cause are among the top causes for workers’ compensation claims.
Office equipment could also potentially cause injuries. A chair breaking could lead to someone falling. A copier shorting out might give someone an electrical shock or burn them. Recognizing the risk factors you face as an office worker will make it easier for you to take action if you need workers’ compensation for a work-acquired medical condition.