5 Common Workplace Injuries for Desk Jobs

Workplace injuries are extremely common nowadays. Which isn’t surprising with the amount of time that each of us spends at our jobs each day. Some work environments are much more hazardous than others. But, even if you work in a safe environment, that doesn’t mean that you are immune from workplace injuries. There are still many injuries that occur in “safe” work environments, even for people working in “secure” desk jobs. Don’t think that you cannot get injured just because you work at a desk job. Below are 5 common workplace injuries for desk jobs.

1. Visual Injuries

One of the most common desk job injuries are eye injuries or eye problems. These are typically caused by overexertion of the eyes. In most cases these eye injuries are temporary, caused by eye muscles getting tired or strained from staring at the computer screen for too long. Sometimes, in extreme, prolonged cases, this can cause more long term damage or changes to the eyes, causing the person to need glasses, etc. Believe it or not, there are eye exercises you can do to strengthen your eyes. On top of that, if you feel your eyes becoming strained, or you begin having difficulty reading your screen, etc, take a break from your computer for a while to give your eyes a break.

2. Repetitive Motion Injuries

Another common workplace injury are repetitive motion injuries. These injuries, also known as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSL’s) are caused by continuous, repeated motions that put pressure or stress on the body or certain body parts. These types of injuries very commonly affect the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, back, and legs. They can be caused by repetitive motions, such as typing, etc, as well as continued improper positioning such as poor posture, poor chairs, poorly-placed keyboards, etc. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common repetitive motion “desk job” injury. There are several things you can do to prevent these types of injuries. Make sure that you have a comfortable chair with proper support. Take the time to properly place your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse so that there is less strain on your body. Also, take regular breaks from your desk and computer to give your body a break from these repetitive motions and uncomfortable positions.

3. Slips

Slips and trips are very common in the workplace. Office kitchens, break rooms, bathrooms, etc can many times have wet, slippery floors. These areas increase the likelihood of injuries caused by slips in the workplace. Also, the types of materials these floors are typically made up of make them extra hazardous. Linoleum, hardwood, and tile are particularly slippery, especially when wet. On top of that, office workplace footwear typically does not include soles with a lot of grip. Employees’ footwear, paired with the surfaces found in these areas, can cause many slips to occur in the office.

When you are away from your desk, especially in areas like the break room or bathroom, pay special attention to the floors. Be extra careful if you notice wet floors or extra slippery surfaces.

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4. Workplace Violence

Another way that people get injured in an office environment is by workplace violence. Hopefully most of us work in safe environments, with other calm, peaceful individuals. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. Workplace violence can happen from other co workers, but many times it also happens from other individuals coming into the workplace. Disgruntled former employees, former loved ones (spouses, children, etc) of employees, as well as total strangers can come into the workplace and commit acts of violence. If you are concerned, talk to your supervisor of the security of your workplace. If you have been threatened by another employee or anyone else in your workplace, talk to your supervisor or Human Resources representative. And always immediately report any acts of violence in your office.

5. Stress Related Injuries

Another cause of injury in the office is stress. This is typically more of an indirect cause of injury. If someone is under a high amount of stress (caused by their job or their personal life), they may become distracted, causing them to make mistakes that could cause injuries. Also, these high levels of stress can, in more extreme cases, cause heart attacks, stroke, or hypertension to occur while in the workplace. If you feel you are under a large amount of stress, either from your job or other personal reasons, do what you can to work to relieve some of that stress. Ask for help with your projects. Take a break every so often. If you feel you are very stressed, you may even want to take a few days off from work. No matter what your level of stress, make sure that you are always aware of any potential hazards around you. Nicole is a guest writer for EmeryReddy.com. They help with workers compensation, labor & industries, etc.

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