While working in an office may seem, and indeed probably is, comparatively safe when, for example, it is compared to working in construction, there are still numerous causes of accidents at work lurking as office dangers.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their staff can enjoy a working environment that is both comfortable and safe. Health and safety at work has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, but problems still arise.
Injuries at work caused by office dangers: Back problems
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that, more often than not, back complaints are the number one cause of long-term work-related illnesses. In the main, this is caused by workers sitting in an ill-adjusted chair that puts pressure and unwanted strain on the vertebrae and back muscles.
Another cause is staff balancing phones in between their necks and shoulders. A number of measures have been brought into place to counteract this, including:
– Ergonomic chairs
– Keyboard hand rests
– Posture advice through training and posters
Workplace injuries from office dangers: Headaches
Many offices, particularly those in large tower block buildings, suffer from being extremely dry because of the air conditioning systems in place.
Taking moisture out of the air can leave workers feeling dehydrated, which can cause both headaches and tiredness.
On occasion these symptoms can also be caused by fumes emanating from machines such as photocopiers. Chemicals such as methacrylate are present in the fumes and can be problematic if inhaled in large doses.
You can avoid these illnesses at work by making sure you drink up to two litres of water a day, while the presence of potted plants will also help improve the quality of air around the office.
Illnesses at work: Colds and flu
When someone in the office gets a cold, it can very easily spread like wildfire. This is particularly the case in large, open plan offices with modern air-conditioning, which enables germs to travel quickly through the air.
While some people may think they are proving themselves to be invaluable by coming to work when ill, they are actually simply putting everybody else at risk of infection.
It is far better to follow medical advice and stay away from work until you are fully recovered.
If you suffer an accident or illness at work, be it repetitive strain injury or work-related stress, a call to Accident Advice Helpline can set you on the way to the compensation you may merit.
Date Published: December 2, 2013
Author: David Brown