At first glance, an office can seem like a safe place to spend a significant chunk of your waking life. Spending nine to five sitting at a desk with occasional trips to the printer may not seem particularly hazardous but potential danger does lie in wait.
In a recent survey by Office Genie, it was revealed 10% of workers have suffered injuries at the hands of stationery items. When the latest ONS figures suggest there are 31.84 million people working in Britain, this translates to around 3.184 million people experiencing stationery-related injuries.
Interestingly, in East Anglia, this figure was higher than the average, with 16% of people stating they had been hurt as a result of a stationery kerfuffle. Almost half (48%) of respondents think stationery will be redundant in the near future with technology taking its place, so fears may in fact subside.
When asked about experiences of injury in the workplace, the most popular revolved area coworkers messing about, tea spillages, DIY jobs, slips, trips and falls, and of course papercuts. To see the fuller list, have a look at Office Genie’s post documenting the odder injuries.
Top tips to avoid office-based injuries:
- Invest in ergonomics: Long hours sitting down in front of a screen can result in eye and wrist strain and back and neck problems. Adjustable monitors, wrist rests, and chairs with lumbar support can go a long way to help with this.
- Training: If you do have equipment that can potentially inflict injuries (trapping your fingers in a scanner or burning yourself on an printer that heats up, for example) then make sure staff are aware of how to use these facilities before embarking.
- Promote a philosophy of common sense: It can sometimes be difficult to see the wood for the trees when it comes to the best solution if you’re in a rush. This pops up particularly in tasks involving stacking items, placing down or pouring hot drinks, and leaving clutter about. Some good advice is to double check how you’re leaving a situation: if upon second glance you think it may not hold up for the next person, don’t leave it that way.
For further insights into workplace health and safety, check out the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Toolbox.
Lilli Hender writes for OfficeGenie.co.uk: a desk and office space marketplace for freelancers, startups and SMEs. She primarily writes on the subject of workplace wellbeing.