When you think of workplace safety, you might immediately imagine construction sites, warehouses and light industrial workplaces. But every office setting also presents its fair share of workplace injuries. Consider these suggestions to ensure the safety of your employees.
Ten most common workplace injuries—and how to avoid them
Take the following steps to keep your employees safe and healthy, and your business free from potentially dangerous situations. Avoid these ten common safety concerns:
- Slips, trips and falls. Wet, uneven, or cluttered walking surfaces present the chance for slips, trips and falls—the most common workplace injury. Keep walking areas clutter-free and use skid-resistant surfaces in areas where rain, mud and snow can be tracked in. Wash floors after work hours, and use safety cones when wet.
- Germ transfer. Prevention of illness in the workplace is at the top of everyone’s to-do list these days. Whether COVID-19 or any seasonal cold or flu, you can minimize germ transfer in your workplace with regular cleaning and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces. Provide soap and hand sanitizer, plus items so employees can wipe down their own desks as they need to. Follow guidelines from local, state and federal authorities for COVID-19 safety.
- Struck by an object. Falling objects are a concern in any area where items must be stacked, such as in a storage or records room. Use safe stacking techniques, including proper shelving and storing the heaviest objects closest to the floor.
- Caught by an object. Open drawers and file cabinets can cause entanglement of clothing, causing bumps and scrapes. Keep drawers closed when not in use.
- Stress and overexertion. Poor ergonomics can lead to back, neck and wrist pain. Provide ergonomically sound and adjustable chairs and desks. Teach employees proper lifting and carrying techniques, including the use of items like dollies and carts when heavier items must be transported.
- Strained vision. Staring at a computer for an entire shift can lead to eye strain. Your office setting can provide some relief if you dim the lights and encourage the use of desk lamps. Glare reduction filter screens or blue light–blocking glasses can also help.
- Fire safety. This is a top concern for companies. Be sure all smoke alarms are inspected regularly and in proper working order. Conduct regular fire drills so employees are aware of safety procedures and evacuation routes.
- Improper handling of chemicals. Standard office settings may still put employees in contact with cleaning products or other substances that can be potentially hazardous, depending on the nature of the job. All chemicals should be properly labeled and employees should be trained on their proper use.
- Improper use of equipment. This can present danger due to electricity but also damage to the equipment itself if used improperly. To protect your employees and extend the life of expensive office equipment, train your employees how to properly use anything they’ll need during the workday.
- Burnout. Beyond common workplace injuries is the threat of overwork, burnout and diminished productivity. Plus, tired and overworked employees are more prone to mistakes that can lead to injury. Require employees to take all breaks during their shifts and encourage the use of vacation and sick time for rest and well-being.
Want to keep your workplace safe?
It helps to understand and manage any risks you may be facing. And Odell Studner can help! We’re experts at risk management and will help you mitigate risk to avoid loss and maintain profits. To learn more, contact us today!