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Look-Out for Hidden Office Hazards!

Tripping and falling can cause serious injury in the office.

If you are not working in a construction zone or a manufacturing factory, it is easy to ignore even the most obvious hazards lurking around the hallway corner.  In an office environment, keeping your body and health safe is often not a priority when the day is spent sitting and typing at a desk.  However, on National Safety Month and all throughout the year, it is important to consider some of the most common office hazards and health issues. The following are very common health hazards and how to avoid them.

1) Falling and Slipping

Tripping, falling and slipping are very easy ways to potentially cause serious harm. Simple ways to prevent this are to always keep a clear vision of your walkway. Make sure to clean up any excess clutter such as stacked boxes, office supplies or boards. Any electrical and telephone cords should also remain secure and not stretched out across walkways.

2) Ergonomics

Sitting at a desk, working on a computer, and performing repetitive movements can lead to ergonomic strains and long-term posture injuries. Detecting any type of damage with these hazards can be a bit difficult.  Always pay attention to any pain, fatigue, numbness or weakness as they can be signs of more serious issues.  To help out these situations make sure to sit up straight and provide firm back support.  Use adjustable equipment and make sure employees use the equipment correctly.  Also, remain in a relaxed, neutral position.

3) Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can be the cause of asthma, respiratory disorders, allergies and chemical sensitivity.  Office overcrowding, presence of chemicals, mold growth and unclean environments can deteriorate the quality of air for employees.   Cleanliness of carpets, vents and overall order around desk areas will help improve these hazards.

4) Poor lighting

Eye strain can be a large issue when working at a computer and looking at a screen.  Areas with poor lighting can worsen these conditions around the office.  Make sure to adjust lighting, avoid glare and a 10 minute break every hour is recommended from looking at a computer screen.

5) Fire Safety

Fires are more common than thought within an office environment.  Make sure there are routine office inspections to reduce this danger.  Cords should be inspected regularly for wear and replaced if they are frayed.  Appliances and space heaters should also be approved for commercial use and have a switch for automatic shutoff in case of tipping over.  It is also critical that employees are trained on what to do in case of a fire eruption.

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