Much lip service is given to dramatic, headline-grabbing cases of workers who were injured or killed on the job.
These include bizarre incidents, like the California man who was decapitated earlier this month in a wood chipper accident.
While these cases are tragic and certainly underscore the need for employers to maintain properly functioning equipment and adhere to proper safety guidelines, those incidents are more likely to happen in the manufacturing, agriculture or construction sectors.
OSHA reports more than 4,500 workers were killed on U.S. job sites in 2010 – about 12 each day – and 20 percent of those were in the construction industry alone.
Our Winston-Salem workers compensation attorneys know that what many people don’t often consider are the less sensational – but no less important – tenants of basic worker safety and health in an office setting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, something as simple as a well-designed office can grant all workers the ability to do their jobs comfortably, minus the need for over-reaching, sitting or standing too long or using an awkward posture. For people who work all day in front of a computer screen, something as simple as taking a break hourly can make all the difference.
Scientists at the CDC regularly study ergonomics – or the science of people at work – and specifically, it’s likelihood of resulting in musculoskeletal disorders. These effects may be obvious when examining a labor-intensive job in an industry, like agriculture, that requires a great deal of physical exertion. But it’s less discernible in a regular office setting.
But simple solutions can be applied to help reduce possible injury and make workers less at-risk for injury. Potential office hazards include cords in the path of walkways, lower drawers left open and overhead objects that may be perilously close to falling on an employee below.
Other considerations should be given to things like non-adjustable furniture or equipment as well as how efficiently a worker can do his or her job if they are required to move too quickly or with a great deal of repetition.
Stress is also another factor – a huge one – in terms of employee health and safety. The CDC reports that a quarter of employees find their job to be stressful. And work-related stress is more commonly associated with health problems than any other life stressor, including family and financial problems. In fact, employees who report high stress levels have health care expenditures totaling 50 percent more than their more relaxed counterparts.
In addition to personal health problems, workplace stress can directly result in on-the-job injuries, because workers who feel pressured and anxious are not going to perform at their optimum level. Safety suffers.
And some workers may not even realize they are stressed.
Some early signs of workplace stress include:
Our Winston-Salem workers compensation attorneys urge you to discuss these office-related hazards and concerns with your employer.
Contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you or someone you love to you has been injured in a work accident or needs to file a workers’ compensation or disability claim. We offer free consultations to workers who have been injured on-the-job in North Carolina, including Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Greensboro and the surrounding areas. Call 1-800-887-1965 to discuss your case today.
More Blog Entries: