Mark W. Mathys | May 9, 2023 | Workplace Accidents
The National Safety Council reports that there were over four million workplace injuries requiring medical treatment by a doctor or hospital in 2021. While construction sites routinely see their fair share of workplace injuries and deaths each year, your work office can also hide dangers that threaten your safety and well-being.
The following ten tips can help you avoid workplace injuries and keep you safer and healthier on the job.
1. Report Unsafe Working Conditions
If you notice a hazard, do not just walk by it. Take the time to stop and clean up the mess. If you do not have the tools or training to do so, report the matter to your supervisor.
2. Wear Appropriate Shoes at the Office
Your workplace may have a dress code, but wherever possible, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes that provide good traction and support. This keeps you from slipping on wet floors and protects your toes from harm.
3. Take Frequent Breaks from Sitting and Working
Sitting at your desk for hours can strain your neck and back, and typing or using the computer can strain your eyes, hands, and wrists. By giving yourself regular breaks to stand up, stretch, and give your body a rest, you can avoid injuries caused by repetitive movements like carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Use Good Posture When Seated
When sitting at your desk, sit straight in your chair with your arms resting comfortably at your sides. If you feel unnatural or strained while seated at your desk, you may need a new ergonomic desk or chair.
5. Keep a Clean Workspace
Keep your work area clean and clutter-free. Clean up any spills of food, drink, or ice right away to avoid slip hazards. Keep computer cords and charging cables neatly stored out of the way of your feet to minimize the risk of tripping and falling when moving around your desk.
6. Be Mindful of Electrical Devices and Fire at Your Desk
If your office allows you to use space heaters and candles, make sure to use these items with extreme caution. Ensure heaters are positioned with adequate space on all sides and that they are far enough away from you so as not to burn you. Candles or any open flames create an unnecessary fire risk and should be avoided.
7. Use a Headset for Prolonged Phone Use
Use a hands-free headset when you need to be on the phone for a while. Holding a phone up to your ear or placing the phone’s headset between your head and neck can cause neck and back pain.
8. Put Your Cell Phone Away While Walking
When you get up from your desk to use the restroom or go somewhere, put your cell phone away. Pay attention to your surroundings while walking to avoid tripping and falling.
9. Always Use Protective Equipment When Necessary
If you are cleaning up a spill or hazard, use personal protective equipment provided by your employer. This includes goggles, gloves, and protective clothing, if necessary. Learn where these materials are kept and how to use them properly.
10. Be Smart with Electrical Cords
Replace any electrical cords that are worn or damaged. Do not run electrical cords under carpeting or across heavily-used walkways or pathways. You should also not use staples or nails to secure electrical wires.
Your Safety at Work Is Your Responsibility
Take ownership of your safety when you are on the job. Although your employer has a duty to make the workplace safe, there is no reason you must create dangers for yourself or others. Following these safety tips can reduce your chances of sustaining a potentially serious workplace injury.