Office workspaces are filled with potential hazards and employers have a responsibility to protect their employees against all known and potential risks to their health and safety. When unsafe conditions go unresolved, injured workers can file workers’ compensation claims. When it comes to workplace safety, there is no such thing as too cautious, or too safe.
Common Workplace Hazards
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls cause tens of thousands of workplace injuries each year. They are a leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in Nevada. Employers can reduce the risk by ensuring all carpeting and flooring materials are well-maintained and properly cleaned. It is also important to address any snow, ice, or damaged pavement leading into the office. Employers should also make sure that all storerooms, common areas, and workspaces are free from clutter, and that there is a clear line of vision within all corridors, loading docks, etc.
Stuck/Caught By or Beneath Accidents
File cabinets that are top-heavy can collapse and crush workers beneath them. Similarly, overloaded file cabinets can fail to close properly which can create a catching hazard for anyone walking by.
Poor ergonomics is a leading cause of office injuries. Poorly designed chairs, failure to provide wrist protection, and other factors can cause back injuries, repetitive motion injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other progressive injuries. Often, these injuries take months or years to develop. Employers must be on guard for them before the injuries start to form. This includes providing adjustable equipment and proper training for employees regarding potential ergonomic injuries and the steps required to prevent them.
Poor lighting can create numerous workplace safety hazards. It can increase the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls. Improperly lit office spaces can increase eye strain which can result in vision problems. And, poorly lit entrances, exits, and parking lots can increase the risk that employees will become victims of criminal activity.
Modern offices are filled with numerous fire hazards. Overheating copy machines can ignite reams of paper. Similarly, coffee pots, portable cooking surfaces, damaged computer fans, and other malfunctioning equipment can ignite everything from clothing to furniture. Employers in Nevada have a duty of care that includes adhering to all fire safety codes. This includes ensuring that all fire alarms, emergency lighting, and fire suppression systems are maintained in good working condition.