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Don't Let the Office Trip You Up: Avoiding Workplace Injury

Sep 5, 2008
Most people in the UK have a place of work; whether it's an office, factory, shop, school, hospital or even their own home. The employment rate at the beginning of 2008 was a healthy 74.8 percent. Total hours worked reached 942.0 million, meaning more hours are spent at work every day than anywhere else.

As so many people spend so much time at work, there is a constant risk of injury. In fact, 28,267 major injuries to employees were reported in 2006/07, as well as 113,083 'less-serious' injuries that ensured workers were absent for over 3 days. Added to the number of injuries and illnesses sustained outside the workplace, these figures highlight the huge amount of money lost by businesses every day due to staff absences.

A common workplace in the UK is an office. Office-based activity is described as including businesses obtaining and redistributing funds, insurance, computer consultancy, legal, accounting activities, estate agents, architects, advertising and industrial cleaning companies. In 2002, it was estimated that there were around 205,000 office-based premises enforced by Local Authorities. The number of people working in those offices reached around 4.36 million.

With more time spent in a place of employment than anywhere else, it is obvious that a large number of accidents will occur there, regardless of how safe a workplace is made. Offices, due to the fact that so many people work in them, are statistically the site of many hidden - and also some obvious - dangers. In fact, in 2001/2002, offices were responsible for employers reporting 851 major injuries and 2,526 over-3-day injuries.

A huge number of incidents could be easily avoided with the right precautions being taken. For example, slipping and tripping accounted for 10,458 major accidents to employees in 2002/2003, representing 37% of the overall total. Many of these could be avoided simply by being more careful - walking more slowly, looking out for hazards and obstacles, or avoiding carrying objects that block the carrier's view.

As there are so many risks, many workplaces operate strict health and safety policies and spend a large amount on training and advice. Major points covered are: avoiding slips, trips and falls by assessing surroundings and taking care when moving; avoiding injury by lifting and moving objects properly; avoiding injury by correct use of electrical equipment; and even avoiding long-term eye damage and posture problems by operating a work-station properly.

Problems and accidents can often occur despite taking the necessary precautions, however, and there are essential steps that can be taken in the event of an incident.

If an accident is not the fault of the employee, advice sought from a professional, such as personal injury solicitors, could help an individual secure compensation to cover any lost earnings due to time they are absent from employment as a result of an accident.

However serious an injury, it is essential an individual is not the party who pays for an office accident any more than they already have physically.
About the Author
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.
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