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Work injury: Prevention in office environments better than cure

Many New York residents spend most of their hours every day working in offices without realizing that safety hazards are not only present in workplaces such as construction sites. There could be numerous safety hazards in office environments, any one of which can cause a serious work injury. Developing safety protocols for the office may be a smart move -- from establishing emergency exit procedures to making sure any spills at the water station are cleaned before someone suffers a slip and fall accident.

The most appropriate step to address potential hazards might be to consider what could go wrong. Companies should design a plan for action in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado or earthquake. However, the hazards that seem insignificant are more prevalent and must receive adequate attention. Check fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors frequently and ensure even those employees in offices furthest from the alarm can hear it. Check all electric cords for fraying and make sure they do not cross walkways or passages where it can cause trip hazards.

Ensure hallways are clear of clutter and try to imagine having to move about in emergency situations with smoke or darkness around. Piles of boxes or documents are fall hazards and can prevent the safe escape of employees in the event of a fire or other threat in the building. However, all the safety precautions will be of little help if not all employees receive training in how to practice office safety and know the emergency plans.

Along with the above hazards, workers are also exposed to ergonomic injuries. This type of work injury is caused by repetitive motion such as hours of typing or working in an awkward body position every day. Office workers may not realize that they can pursue financial relief through the New York workers' compensation insurance program after suffering any on-the-job injuries. For assistance throughout the benefits claims process, the services of experienced New York workers' compensation attorneys are available.

Source:, "5 Ways to Stay Safe at Work", Robin Epley, Jan. 13, 2017

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