The majority of Americans would not consider an office environment “dangerous” in the same way that they might think about a construction site, but millions of Americans suffer injuries in office environments each year. Many of these injuries are completely preventable.
As more Americans work in office environments, it is likely that the frequency of these injuries will increase. According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, office workers are over 2 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury from a fall as compared to those who do not work in offices.
What causes so many falls?
The office environment itself is often the culprit. For instance, it is not uncommon for a worker to trip over electrical cords, file drawers, open desk drawers or loose carpeting. Another major cause of falls is wet flooring, whether after a janitor cleans the floor or if workers are tracking inclement weather inside.
Some office workers fall due to not standing on an appropriate piece of equipment to reach something high up. Sometimes workers will elect to stand on a chair rather than fetch a ladder. Unsurprisingly, this often results in falls.
How can we prevent falls?
Staying aware of your surroundings is key. Make sure that you promptly clothes any drawers after opening them. If you see loose carpeting or wires strung over walkways, make sure to alert your administration to the issue. Ensure that there are plenty of “wet floor” signs and use them liberally. Finally, always take the time to get a step ladder if you need to reach something above your head. Do not stand on chairs or stools.