When you think of hazardous workplaces, offices probably don't come to mind. After all, there's no heavy machinery or equipment in them. Offices typically consist of cubicles or workstations that are equipped with computers. While offices are generally safer than many other workplaces, though, they can still contain safety hazards. Below are five of the most common safety hazards found in offices.
#1) Space Heaters
Space heaters are a common safety hazard in offices. Statistics show that space heaters cause over 7,000 commercial structure fires each year in the United States. In offices, many workers use them to keep warm during the winter. The problem with space heaters is that they can't over suffer from electrical problems that causes them to ignite nearby surfaces or materials. If you're going to use a space heater in your office, make sure it's designed specifically for commercial use.
#2) Cheap Furniture
It may sound unusual, but cheap furniture is a common safety hazard in offices. If you work in an office, you'll probably be sitting for many consecutive hours. If you have a cheap chair, you may experience back pain. A cheap chair -- or other cheap types of office furniture -- may lack the ergonomics needed to support your body. As a result, using them for extended periods can increase your risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
#3) Loose Cords
Another common safety hazard in offices is loose cords. The most common type of injury sustained by office workers, in fact, is falls. More office workers are injured by falls than any other type of injury. Loose cords, of course, are a tripping hazard that can lead to falls. If there are loose cords in your office, you may trip while attempting to walk over them.
#4) Insufficient Lighting
Insufficient lighting can increase the risk of injury among office workers. If there's little or no lighting in your office, for example, you may fall. Even if you don't fall from it, insufficient lighting can lead to eyestrain. Using a computer for extended periods in a dim or darkly lit office will inevitably strain your eyes.
#5) Hot Beverages
Finally, hot beverages can be a safety hazard for office workers. Research shows that three in four office workers drink coffee on a daily basis. Whether it's coffee or any other hot beverage, though, it only takes a single spill to cause a burn. You can still drink hot beverages when working in an office, but consider using a spill-proof cup to protect against burns.