When it comes to workplace injuries, few people think of offices as dangerous places to work. People are more likely to focus on jobs that include dangerous machinery or conditions, such as manufacturing or construction work.
However, there are many opportunities for injury in any typical office space. Without great care and attention to workplace safety, secretaries and other office workers can end up suffering injuries that keep them from work or that even result in permanent disability.
Falls are a leading cause of workplace injury in offices
While office workers may not stand on scaffolding stories above the ground, they are still at risk for falls in the office. Many companies have buildings that are more than one story high. Any place that there are stairs or a balcony, there is a risk for a fall.
The risk doesn’t end just because you invest in a single story office space. There’s also potential risk when secretaries or office workers have to deal with equipment or files stored on high shelving units. Falling when trying to get a hold of something out of a high shelf could pose a risk of injury. There’s also the potential for shelving units to come loose and crush the person who has just fallen.
Office machinery, like paper shredders, also pose risk to users
Any device that has moving parts or requires electricity could potentially injure someone using it. Even computers create a risk of electrical shock or electrocution. There are many devices in the average office that can cause injury to somebody working there.
Paper shredders could catch clothing, skin or extremities and cause severe injuries. Heavier equipment, such as copiers, could cause crushing injuries. Even without some kind of slip or malfunction, it is possible for an electrical shock to result from contact with machinery. Any of these situations could cause injuries that keep an office worker out of a job for several weeks or longer.
Don’t overlook repetitive strain
Sitting in the same position and performing the same tasks every day also creates a risk for office workers. Chairs that don’t offer lumbar support, non-ergonomic desks and repetitive typing can result in serious injuries. Over time, repeating the same task over and over again can affect the muscles, tendons and fascia around major joints. Without rest and treatment, these injuries can end up being quite painful and debilitating.
The good news for injured office workers and secretaries is that those injuries usually carry the potential for workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ compensation can pay for your medical costs associated with the workplace injury.
It could also replace a portion of your wages while you recover. It may also be possible to return to work sooner with simple accommodations from your employer, such as assistive technology or changed responsibilities. Regardless of the situation, injured office workers deserve support after a workplace injury.