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Is Your Office an Injury Waiting to Happen?

By: SmallBizClub

 

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How safe is your small business office? When it comes to injuries at work, you might think of construction sites or other more hazardous workplaces, but in fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that around 76,000 office workers fall victim to disabling injuries each year.

As well as the distress caused to your valued employees, office injuries can also lead to workers compensation claims, and the inconvenience of needing to arrange cover for a worker who is out of action.

Making an office safe is a fairly straightforward task. An eye for detail and potential hazards and some changes in equipment or the way daily tasks are carried out will minimize risks and improve your office’s safety. Slips, falls and trips, and sprains and strains, are two of the most common hazards for office workers, so what can you do to help prevent those kinds of injury, starting today?

Slips, Falls, and Trips

Falls and trips are one of the most common causes of injury in an office, with the National Safety Council estimating that workers are more likely to suffer a disabling fall in an office than anywhere else. Boxes, files, wires and even furniture such as chairs and desks can create a hazard.

Encourage your employees to keep walkways and any other places that their colleagues need access to clear at all times. Cords and wires should be covered and kept secure and shouldn’t trail across walkways or corridors.

Standing on a chair or desk to reach something is also a common fall hazard in the office. Make your office safer by providing small stools or stepladders for employees to use if need be, and trying to minimize the number of items stored higher than can safely be reached from the ground.

Slipping on wet surfaces can also cause injury. Non-slip rugs or mats can make a big difference, especially in areas where employees enter the building from outside. Keeping floors clean and dry and using hazard signs if a floor is slippery also helps. Don’t forget to be extra vigilant in wet or wintry weather, and clean up any spills as soon as they happen.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are another common type of injury cited in claims from office workers. Many office workers spend their days sitting at a desk and working at a computer—there’s a good chance that as an office-based business owner you do this yourself. It’s all too easy for employees to sustain an injury as a result of bad ergonomics, but there are steps you can take to help prevent strains. Adjustable office furniture products such as computer chairs can make a big difference to your employees. Being able to adjust their chair means your employees can find the most comfortable, and safe, working position. Add to that ergonomic keyboards, mouse mats and even desks and you can go a long way to preventing strain and sprain injuries.

You can also help make your office safer by offering instructions on good working ergonomics. Encourage your employees to work safely and smartly by taking regular breaks to stretch or walk around, and by varying tasks if possible.

Injuries at your small business are inconvenient and painful, but with some forward planning they can be prevented. Investing in more ergonomic equipment and involving everyone in practicing good office safety will help keep your office and your team safe.

Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, office safety and ergonomic furniture.

Published: August 28, 2014
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SmallBizClub.com is dedicated to providing small businesses and entrepreneurs the information and resources they need to start, run, and grow their businesses. The publication was founded by successful entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton. We bring you the most insightful thinking from industry leaders, veteran business owners, and fellow entrepreneurs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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