STAY INJURY FREE AT THE OFFICE
Even a seemingly quiet office can be filled with hazards. Just think about it: open filing cabinets, a cluttered work area, slippery stairs. Any of these could set up a work-related injury. But by taking a minute to reduce hazards around you, you can help yourself and others stay injury-free.
Check Out Your Office
Do you switch between tasks? Or do you remain focused on one job all day? Do you sit at a computer? Or are you on the run from meeting to meeting? Whatever your job, the following tips can help you avoid situations that might cause injury to you or others.
Use Good Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the relationship between you and your work area. Part of good ergonomics means arranging your work area so items are easy to see and reach. The other part of good ergonomics means using good posture.
Sit with your head, neck and back upright. Support your low back with a pillow, if needed.
Position your monitor and document holder at eye level and about an arm's length away.
Keep your forearms, hands and wrists straight and relaxed. Support your wrists with a rolled-up towel or wrist pad, if needed.
You can reduce muscle tension by moving around throughout the day:
Get up and walk for a couple of minutes every hour. This can energise your mind and body.
Extend your legs and wriggle your toes to increase circulation while you sit.
Force a yawn to relax tight facial muscles.
Think Before You Lift
Bending from your waist puts extra strain on your back. Instead, try these steps for lifting:
Get close to the object you're lifting.
Keep the load against your body.
Lift with your legs - not just your back.
Clean Up Clutter
Reduce the risk of a slip or trip by keeping your work area clean:
Keep walkways clear and close file drawers before moving away.
Use power strips to avoid tangled extension cords.
Clean up spills as soon as they happen.
Use the right equipment for the job and take the time to finish the task:
Get a stool or ladder to help you reach overhead objects.
Put away equipment when you've finished using it. If you don't, it becomes clutter!
It's Up To You
Now that you've learned a few safety tips, what's your next step? Ask yourself these questions about your work area. Then take action to make your office injury-free for you and your co-workers.
What items in my work area could cause a slip or trip? Where could I put them so they're out of the way?
Do I sit with my head, neck, and back upright? Is my lower back supported?
What objects do I lift during the day? Do I lift them with my legs rather than just my back?
Which tasks can I do while standing to help stretch my leg muscles?
What's my favourite short cut? Can I think of a safer way to go?
Get Safe at Home
There's no place like home for feeling safe and protected. Help make this a reality with a few simple adjustments:
Tack down carpet edges securely and use non-skid rugs.
Provide good lighting in stairways and hallways.
Keep flammables and toxins in tightly sealed containers and store them out of reach of children.
Tuck phone and electrical cords out of the way. Don't run them across a walkway.