As a secretary, you may not think of your job as dangerous. But while an office may not be as hazardous as a construction site, it does not mean your workplace is free of risks. In fact, you are prone to certain injuries and may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits for them.
Common causes of secretary injuries include poor ergonomics, repetitive motions, slip and trip hazards and lifting. Here are a few tips on overcoming these hazards and preventing injuries.
Set up an ergonomic workstation and avoid strain
Being a secretary requires you to perform various repetitive tasks, including typing on a computer, picking up the phone and filing papers. These job duties may not seem strenuous on the surface, but they can damage your body over time. You may develop repetitive strain injuries such as tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Make sure your workstation is set up with proper ergonomics. Take frequent breaks to stretch and change your position.
Watch out for fall hazards
There are many things that can make you slip or trip in an office:
- An open file drawer
- Electrical wires
- Loose carpeting
- Objects in walkways
- Poor lighting
- Wet floors
Look before you walk anywhere and report any potential hazards to someone who can resolve them. You can also be proactive in cleaning up spills, closing drawers and picking up objects.
Be careful while lifting
Your job may not require you to lift a ton of heavy loads every day. But even lifting small loads can injure you. It is vital to use proper lifting techniques even when handling computer monitors or stacks of files. When you lift something from the floor, make sure you squat and use your legs instead of your back. Pick up all objects with your entire hands instead of your fingers and hold them close to your body. Keep your back in a straight position as you lift and carry items.