Working with heavy machinery always involves risk.
While most companies focus on safety on the shop floor, often times safety isn’t as strictly enforced in the front office.
Working in the front office has its own types of risk, most commonly
- Struck by/Caught by accidents
The most common injuries that happen in the front office are falls. To prevent falls it’s best to keep your office clutter-free. Don’t pile objects in walkways and be sure items are stored in their proper places.
When you need to reach something in a high place it’s best to use a step ladder. Do NOT stand on chairs, especially if they have rollers.
It’s also best to clean up spills as soon as possible. This prevents slips for you and others in the office.
Struck by/Caught By
Many accidents occur in the front office when workers are struck by falling objects or when employees are caught by equipment.
Workers can be struck by items falling from high shelves. File cabinets are also a common source of “struck by” accidents. When too many heavy drawers are open the cabinet can become unbalanced and tip over.
To help prevent these accidents, make sure to close all file cabinet drawers when you’re finished. Make sure office supplies on high shelves are stored properly and securely–don’t overstack shelves!
“Caught By” accidents happen when a person’s clothing, hair, etc. are caught by office machinery. For example:
- Fingers caught in drawer or door
- Hair caught in a paper shredder
- Fingers injured by a paper cutter
You can prevent most “caught by” accidents by paying attention and concentrating while using office equipment.
Often, injuries in the office are due to poor ergonomics. In other words, back, neck, and arm strains that are caused by poor posture and repetitive movements.
Make sure workstations are adjustable and fit each worker. Be sure to have computer monitors at the proper height and use proper arm/wrist rests. Be sure to have chairs that provide proper back support and that allow an employee’s feet to touch the floor.
Strains may not seem like a common office injury but heavy lifting occurs in offices every day. Workers frequently lift heavy boxes of paper and move bulky office equipment.
These injuries are easily preventable too. Be sure to lift with your legs, NOT your back. Don’t twist while lifting. Always lift from a standing position–even if it would be “easier” to lift while seated. Don’t carry heavy stacks that block your vision. And when setting something down, also use your legs and not your back
While these are the most common ways injuries occur in the office, there are other factors that come into play too.
Check out these resources for more information:
And whether you work on the factory floor or in the front office, the best accident prevention is being careful, being aware, and using common sense.