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By Alexis Roth

Your office at work may seem safe enough and perhaps even totally innocuous to you. However, there are some very dangerous practices that people do every day, and these can cause office accidents to happen. Learning how to avoid these practices and making sure you and your coworkers are safe should be at the top of everyone's lists.


Wet Floor Hazards

A recently mopped floor can lead to slips and falls, possibly even causing a broken bone or two. Hopefully, your building's janitor will put up a wet floor sign, but there are other reasons for slippery surfaces in the office. If you or a coworker spilled a drink or have a recently used umbrella sitting on the floor, you could be contributing to the problem by not cleaning it up or alerting someone who can clean it up for you.

Reaching for Objects above You

A commonly used phrase among people who work in safety departments is, "Do it safely or not at all." If you must reach for something that is sitting up high on top of a cabinet, do not use anything but a step ladder to reach it. You should probably also have someone behind you as a spotter, depending on how heavy the object is or how high up it is stored. Never use a chair, especially a rolling one, to reach anything above your head. This is an incredibly dangerous practice.

Tripping Hazards

Keep all walkways clear of objects that could cause someone to trip. Particularly be on the lookout for carpeting or rugs that bunch up and cause trip hazards. Be sure to move wires and cables out of all walkways, because this could result in someone tripping and also pulling the wire from the wall. Also, as a precaution for everyone who walks, do not run in the office. You never know who might be coming around that corner you are about to run by.

Filing Cabinets

There are several best practices that should be implemented when it comes to filing cabinets of all shapes and sizes. First, if you are working out of a filing cabinet consistently and have to get to the lower drawer, bend at the knee, not at the hip. Letting yourself sink down into a squatting position is safer than overexerting your back by bending down from the hip. Next, be sure to close one cabinet drawer before opening another. This is to avoid the cabinet tipping over on top of you, which could result in a serious worker's compensation case, something you are probably aware your business might want to avoid. Be sure to close all cabinet drawers when you are finished or walk away, so as not to cause a hazard for others walking by. Finally, if you are storing items besides files in a filing cabinet, be sure to put the heavier items in the bottom drawer so the cabinet does not become top-heavy.

It is very important to take into account these basic safety tips for working in an office. Your business should implement some safety rules for their office, which could help them avoid worker's compensation issues on the business's insurance.

Alexis Roth
Workers Compensation
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