From general slips, trips and falls in the workplace and office-related repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) to road traffic collisions and accidents involving heavy-duty machinery, in 2012/13 alone, over 78,000 injuries caused by accidents at work were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
With those figures in mind, the latest annual statistics from the Labour Force Survey will come as no surprise to employers, which states that a whopping 23.5 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and 4.7 million due to accidents at work.
The importance of correct ergonomics for an office environment mustn’t be overlooked.
The dangers of poor posture
Consistent poor posture while working in the office is one of the leading causes of accidents at work, resulting in many unbearable cases of RSI.
Although many wrongly assume that RSI is sustained only through strenuous activity, such as lifting and manoeuvring heavy items or operating vibrating machinery, poor posture and lack of breaks from activity are just as likely to cause an RSI.
Adopting good posture allows your body to operate without any unnecessary straining or twisting of the joints, and promotes optimum breathing and circulation as well as natural alignment of the spine.
Improving posture at the workstation
Improving your posture in the office will minimise the risk of sustaining a work-related injury, such as RSI.
The ideal desk-based posture requires you to adjust the level of your chair so that your knees align with your hips and your feet rest on the floor. Foot rests should be provided for individuals, as needed.
Use posture props and take regular breaks from working at your desk. Pain to the back and neck area are good indicators of work-related ergonomic issues.
Benefits of improving posture include, but are not limited to:
- Reduction of stress on soft tissues, including ligaments, muscles and tendons
- Reduction in postural strain, neck pain and back pain
- Prevention of the spine fixing in abnormal positions
- Prevention of exhaustion due to improved utilisation of muscles
Claiming compensation for a work-related injury
In some cases, RSI occurs due to inadequate implementation of work station assessments by the employer.
When your occupational injury is due to unsatisfactory working conditions such as unacceptable seating, foot rests or computer monitor height, for example, your employer may be liable for the harm you have suffered.
A law firm, such as Accident Advice Helpline, can help you determine your eligibility to claim. Call today on 0800 689 0500 for a free initial consultation regarding your work-related injury or illness.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice