Workplace Injury - Yes, Offices Can Be Risky Too

For many people, when the words “workplace injury” come up, thoughts usually turn to more commercial or industrial environments. Someone falling from a great height on a construction site, for example, or getting a limb caught in a piece of heavy factory machinery, sounds like the type of risk and injury most people expect.

However, many jobs in the 20s are considered “white collar” jobs, such as working in an office for marketing or software company for programming. Or even tracking numbers for data entry and analysis for various financial and statistical organizations. Many people think that the chances for injury are slim to none in these settings, but this is a false assumption.

Any Place Can Be Dangerous

Just because an office has four walls, a ceiling, and no heavy industrial machinery with grinding gears or extreme amounts of heat, that doesn’t mean the risk of injury drops to zero. Different environments contain different hazards, and workplace injuries can occur in potentially any workplace with the right circumstances.

The trip and fall are among the most common examples of people getting injured. Still, it’s not just construction workers with no safeguards in place that are at risk. Tripping and falling, or other injuries, can happen in an office setting too. Here’s how.

Poor Cable Management

While many technologies are increasingly going wireless, there’s still a need for some cables, either for more reliable and secure wired Internet access or, more commonly, for access to a building’s electrical power supply. Cables need to be laid out to reach the nearest electrical, telephone, or LAN points, but this does not always accommodate the needs or configuration of an office.

As a result, some people may try to “cheat” power cord or cable management by connecting hardware to outlets by the shortest point possible. The safer, more cost and labor-intensive way is to use longer cables that line the walls, or, if wires don’t have that reach, cover the wires up to reduce the odds of tripping on them.

People who don’t do this run the risk of management, employees, and even clients or other visitors tripping and falling on these cables.

Air Quality

Naturally, offices are closed off environments that rely on powered ventilation systems to ensure proper air circulation, cooling, heating, and other environmental comforts. However, this means that air quality can be a concern. In 2020 we’ve already learned this the hard way, as improper ventilation is thought to have been the culprit for COVID-19 transmission in some outbreaks.

Beyond the immediate concerns of the pandemic, poor air quality in a building can lead to illness. Mold developing in ventilation, for example, can cause permanent neurological damage if it is breathed in over a long enough period without anyone addressing the situation.

Ergonomic Injuries

Humans are not built to sit in the same position for hours at a time, staring at bright screens and undertaking the same hand motions over and over again. Unfortunately, this is precisely what office work is, leading to a host of work-related injuries that slowly develop over time.

Repetitive strain injury happens when someone repeats the same motions repeatedly, such as typing on a keyboard for months, or even years, or using a mouse. Eye strain gradually occurs as people spend too much time staring at screens. Simultaneously, lower back pain is a typical result over time of sitting in poor quality office chairs.

It May Not Be Your Fault

Suppose workplace injuries like these occur because an employer sees a risk but chooses to ignore it. In that case, this may be grounds for a workplace injury lawsuit. Talk to a workplace accident attorney to see whether legal action is required, and compensation is due.

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