Beyond paper cuts: Top 3 office injuries

It doesn’t take heavy equipment or scaffolding to cause an accident. Injuries happen in the office too.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 64,000 office and administrative support workers were sidelined by injuries in 2012. And that number doesn’t include an additional 28,270 injured workers in management, business, and financial occupations.*
Here are the top three office injuries, and ways to prevent them.

Stay on your feet

Trips and falls accounted for more than 28,000 office injuries in 2012. These injuries most often were caused by slips or tripping over an object on the floor, although some were caused by falls of less than six feet.

·     Clear the walkways. Pick up boxes and clutter that can cause a tripping hazard. Repair wrinkled carpets or uneven surfaces.
·     Use a ladder, not a chair. Provide a secure stepstool or ladder that employees can use to reach high shelves.
·     Provide traction. Stone and tile floors can be slippery. Place carpeting in high traffic areas, or switch to skid resistant surfaces.

Easy now
Overexertion was the second leading cause of injuries. Repetitive motion problems (like keyboard use) did account for some injuries, but that fell behind lifting/pulling injuries and bending/reaching activities.

·     Promote lifting safety. Place educational posters in the break room and raise safety issues during staff meetings.
·     Get a dolly. Ensure that storage rooms are equipped with lightweight hand trucks to assist staff who need to move heavy boxes.
·     Review ergonomics. Provide adjustable office chairs and monitor stands, and train employees in proper ergonomic positioning. 

Don’t get hit
The third most common office injuries occur when workers get struck by something.  

·     Stack safely. Office supplies or other materials should be stacked at a reasonable height on storage units that aren’t loaded beyond capacity. 
·     Keep it neat. Close file cabinet doors when not in use and avoid storing equipment in hallways or unexpected traffic areas.
·     Create pathways. Mark off safe pedestrian walkways through shop and warehouse areas, and remind everyone to stay alert.  

Manage claims with Nurse Hotline
SECURA’s Work Comp policyholders and their employees get 24/7 access to Nurse Hotline. Registered nurses provide skilled medical advice so you and your employees know how to respond when an accident occurs. That means you can avoid over-treating injuries or making risky judgment calls, and limit lost time.