Nobody thinks about safety when they’re working in an office. There are no giant machines rumbling about. Nobody is doing labor-intensive work.
But according to the CDC, office workers are more than twice as likely to suffer an injury from a fall than non-office workers in more dangerous situations. It’s that lack of awareness and sense of safety an office provides that makes office life so hazardous.
This doesn’t mean the office needs to be a place of strict rules. Simple changes in how you arrange the space and interact with it could make all the difference. Here’s how you can make your office ergonomic and safe for everyone.
1. Buy Standing Desks For Everyone
For a time, we all thought the exercise ball would be the ergonomic choice of office ergonomics fixes forever. That is, until we saw The Office.
You see, if you sit in a slouched position all day, you could incur injury. The wrong desk height could contribute to this. If your desk is too high, you’ll lean back, if it’s too low, you’ll slouch over.
What you really want is the goldilock’s position and that’s difficult to attain with just an adjustable chair. Your legs are the limiting factor here.
The standing desk solves this problem. You can adjust it to the height of your most ergonomic position. That is the position in which your body will function best without consequences to your health.
Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to your health. It’s just as bad as smoking. Thus, you’ll want to be able to stand and work every once in a while through the workday. The standing desk is true to its name and some even adjust by the sheer push of a button.
2. Set Rules and Time Limits
Repetitive stress is another common injury in the office. You do the same thing over and over again and your muscles give out or wear down.
You type for too long in the wrong position and you get carpal tunnel. You staple too many documents and you get tendonitis in your wrist.
Worker’s comp prices can go up if employees claim too many claims during a certain period of time. You could avoid a potential price-hike if you simply set rules in the workplace.
Secretaries shouldn’t be allowed to do repetitive tasks for more than an hour at a time. You should make it a rule that they are to switch tasks every hour.
Likewise, nobody should be typing reports for hours on end. Require that employees take breaks and switch tasks every hour or two during the workday.
3. Fix All the Things
Make it easy for employees to report broken parts of the building and broken equipment. Nobody should be cutting their arms trying to unjam paper in a copier themselves. Nobody should be tripping over that ripped carpet in the conference room.
Streamline this process and hire someone to fix things quickly.