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5 Common Office Hazards and How to Prevent Them

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Most of us tend to believe that if you are working in a comfy and climate-controlled office, then everything is safe and hazard-free. However, statistics on workplace injuries suggest otherwise. Research shows that thousands of office workers suffer work-related injuries and health problems every year.

To stay safe, you need to be aware of these dangers and take appropriate steps in eliminating them. A good employer will always implement thorough processes to identify potential office hazards and correct the problems before anyone suffers.

In this post, we discuss the top five most common office hazards and how to prevent them.

1. Slips and falls

Slips and falls are the most common type of office hazard, and can becaused by something as simple as a wet floor.  Other causes of slips and falls include uneven work surfaces, floors, and cluttered walkways.

To prevent slip and fall accidents, ensure you put in place wet floor warning signs after office cleaning. You should also ensure you have appropriate signage in place whenever needed, de-clutter walkways, shared corridors, and other areas of high traffic.

2. Poor lighting

Office lighting may not seem like a hazard, but it is a significant contributor to a wide range of risks and illnesses.  An obvious issue that most employers tend to overlook is poor lighting that conceals potential hazards. A typical example is poor lighting in storage rooms and hallways.

Poor lighting in the office can lead to vision issues such as eye strain and severe headaches in the short term and impaired vision in the long term. It also leads to increased work stress and increased susceptibility to illnesses.

3. Misuse of office equipment

The other potential office hazard is the misuse of equipment. In fact, the most severe workplace injuries happen when employees misuse office equipment, especially in an industrial setting.  Always use office equipment for its intended purpose to avoid injuries.

For instance, the vacuum cleaner should only be used during office cleaning and not for any other purpose. Avoid climbing on chairs, desks, tables, and counters to reach or put something away. The office furniture isn’t meant to hold weight and climbing on top of them is generally unsafe.

If you want to reach for something beyond your height, use a ladder and only climb the designated steps.

4. Air quality

Poor air quality caused by unpleasant odors, mold and mildew can lead to dizziness, respiratory issues and much more.

Regular deep office cleaning can help rectify some of these issues. You should also keep all common areas such as restrooms and kitchens clean to improve the quality of indoor air at the workplace.

If you suspect that low air quality is as a result of mold or mildew, be sure to call in professionals to measure the mold levels in the office and advice you accordingly.

5. Ergonomics

Inappropriate supply or use of office furniture can also lead to a wide range of both short-term and long-term injuries if the issue is not addressed promptly. Poor ergonomics can affect everything from your neck, back, and wrists.

To deal with the issue of poor ergonomics, make sure you set up your workstation to suit your height and support proper posture. Don’t be afraid to request for additional accessories such as back support and footrests if you feel uncomfortable.