Think you are safe in your office, at your cubicle or behind your office desk? You may want to rethink that after reading this. You could be at some serious risks for work-related injuries in North Carolina and elsewhere. It’s important for employers and employees to work together to maintain a safe office setting. This requires reducing chemical dangers, making sure that equipment and work stations are designed properly, that the physical environment is pleasant, that the tasks are reasonable, that the psychological factors are manageable and that you’re not exposed to any other kinds of dangers.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) workplaces need to be designed so that employees can work comfortably and don’t have to sit or stand for too long and so they don’t need to over-reach or work in awkward positions. Our North Carolina workers compensation attorneys stress the importance of employers ensuring their workers are working with the correct ergonomic design. When office workers start complaining of pain, many times the solution can be as easy as a furniture change.
Or, the equipment office workers are using could be satisfactory, but the way the work task is executed could be redesigned. For workers who are on the computer for most of the day, it has been proven that short breaks every hour can reduce the risks of long-term pain.
Other office and desk dangers can include exposed electrical cords, dangerous corners, open desk and filing cabinet drawers, falling objects from high shelves as well as speed and repetition of work-related duties. It’s important to make sure job-related stress doesn’t consume your life. The requirements of your job need to meet your capabilities. If they don’t, a worker can be hurt.
One of the most important factors to help reduce the risks of injury among desk workers is ergonomics. This is the study of people who are at work. The goal of this field is to help to reduce the risk of injuries, disorders and stress related to the overuse of muscles, repetitive tasks and bad posture. Workplaces need to be controlled and tasks need to be designed accordingly to minimize risks.
If your positions at work are not ergonomically correct, you run the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities, neck and low back.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 15 million Americans are employed for full-time positions and work on the night shift, evening shift, rotating shifts or other irregular schedules. According to the International Labor Office, the number of hours worked in the U.S. exceeded that of Japan and most of Western Europe. Both shift work and long shifts have been associated with increased risks for illnesses and injuries on the job.
It is important for employers to keep an eye on work design, work-related stresses, air quality in the office, noise control, occupational violence and work scheduling to help to reduce the risks of work-related accidents. Employers have a responsibility to provide safe workplaces for all employees.
If you, a coworker or someone in your family has been injured or killed on the job or would like to file a disability claim, contact the Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for help regarding your case. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free initial consultation to discuss your rights today.
More Blog Entries:
Firefighters Exposed to Asbestos-Related Work Hazards in North Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 5, 2012
Company Fined Nearly $500,000 for Failing to Prevent Work-Related Accidents in South Carolina and Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 2, 2012