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I can’t be injured in my office… can I?

Some industries are more dangerous than others. Construction, for example, is full of potential workplace hazards that can cause serious injuries. But on-site injuries are not limited to physical labor. Many people who work indoors at an office don’t consider their workplaces particularly dangerous, but injuries can occur in nearly any setting—even in a seemingly-cushy office.

You may still be skeptical, but the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) offers some hard facts to back up this claim. According to the BLS, thousands of office workers every year sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. These are some of the most common office injuries.

  1. Slip-and-falls

Everyone has slipped and stumbled a bit while walking, but slip-and-falls can result in long-lasting injuries. They can occur in offices, especially if there is uneven flooring, wet floors, exposed rugs, spills or clutter on the floor. Employers are responsible for maintaining safe, clean work facilities for employees.

  1. Ergonomic-related injuries

If you work a 40-hour weeks and spend most of your time at a desk, then you spend up to 1,920 seated. This puts your body at risk for ergonomic injuries. These injuries affect your musculoskeletal system and can cause pain, numbness and weakness. It can be difficult to detect these injuries, but it is crucial to treat them as soon as possible before they become severe.

  1. Eyestrain

Similarly, staring at a computer screen or at tiny print for several hours a day can cause a painful condition called eyestrain. Your eyes may be dry and irritated; you may experience mild to severe headaches. Your workplace may be able to remedy this by allowing you to take regular beaks in which you don’t have to look at your screen.

  1. Fire safety

Employers are bound by law to follow fire safety codes. Failing to follow fire safety standards could prove deadly in case of an office fire. Having multiple smoke detectors and fire alarms and practicing fire drills regularly may save workers’ lives if a fire breaks out on site.

Offices and injuries

Just as many office workers do not realize that they are at risk for workplace injuries, many office workers do not realize that they are entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained at work. But just like construction workers who are injured on the job, office workers deserve a safe workplace and compensation for their damages.

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