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The 3 most common office dangers: are you at risk?

If you go to work in an office every day, you might find yourself repeating a similar refrain on your morning commute: "my job might not be as exciting as other jobs, but at least I'm safe."

But are you? Office work poses more safety hazards than most people imagine.

In part, the dangers arise because office workers expect to be safe. Since they don't feel at risk, they don't put in as much effort to avoid injury. Here are some of the most common hazards office workers face.

Falling down

Would you believe that office workers are more than twice as likely to be injured in a fall than non-office workers? It's true.

If you took an investigative lap around your office right now, you'd probably run out of fingers before you finished counting all of the possible slip, trip and fall hazards.

How many exposed cords and cables do you see? Bags in the aisle? Filing drawers left open? Did someone spill coffee and forget to clean it up? Is your coworker standing on an office chair to get something off a high shelf?

All of these things can cause someone to fall and become seriously injured.

Ergonomic injuries

The better part of an office worker's day is spent sitting at a desk, working on a computer and talking on a phone. These don't seem like dangerous activities, but the repeated toll of performing the same motions over and over again can cause injury over time.

Try adjusting your chair and computer monitor so that you're sitting straight up, your feet are touching the floor, and you don't have to look up or down to see your screen. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, ask your manager for a headset so you aren't straining your neck.

Little changes in posture and position can make a big difference when it comes to helping your body feel good.

Getting hurt while lifting

Most office workers don't have to lift heavy objects very often. So, when that task arises, they don't know how to lift correctly and get hurt in the process. Or, they don't know their limits and take on more than they can handle.

Next time you have to move boxes of paper, new computers or other heavy objects, lift with your legs not your back. Don't take on more than you can reasonably carry. If something is heavy or too large to get a good grip on, get help from a coworker or find a cart to help you move the item to where it needs to be.

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