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The typical full time employee spends approximately 8.5 hours a day at their desks working a 9-5 office job, predominantly sitting down. With this in mind, you would assume that within a safe working environment, sat stationary for all those hours, the risk of an accident in the work place is unlikely.
However, with more and more claims being filed each year for accidents in the workplace, there are certain rules and regulations your employers should be aware of, and small changes you, as an employee can make to minimise the risk of injury in work.
1. Knowing the right people
You should be made aware from the beginning of your employment contract who the first aiders are. Your office should have at least one trained first aider, who will be in charge of treating minor injuries or calling sufficient support should an accident arise in office hours. Being up to date on who this is could save time and hassle at the scene of the injury.
2. Understanding safety procedures
It is the obligation of your employer to make sure you are familiar with any regulatory safety procedures. This can be anything from fire exits, where the first aid box is, who to call when an injury happens and where the outdoor meeting points are when the fire alarm does sound.
3. Use free services
Most employers will offer a free health check or regular eye tests as part of your work benefits package. Make the most of these by checking at the start of your contract, this way if say for example you start to experience headaches or RSI, you can keep track of when you were last tested for good visionary health and posture.
4. Take regular breaks
If you spend lots of time at your computer, make sure you take regular breaks. Stand up every hour, make a drink or take a walk to the bathroom. This will not only give your eyes a break but also your brain. Your concentration levels will start to deteriorate if you work at the same thing hour after hour each day.
5. Wear suitable clothing to work
You wouldn’t go for a run in a suit or swimming without your swimwear as it just is not practical and the same should be applied to your work wear. If you have stairs to climb, skyscraper heels will maximise the risk of injury, if it is wet outside wipe your feet to avoid bringing excess water onto the office floor and you have to move around the office a lot, a skin tight dress that’s uncomfortable will distract you if you are moving boxes, reaching for files or carrying a tray of hot tea.
These are simple procedures, and small things to be aware of, but highlighting them will make you address your day differently, whether this is your posture, how much time you spend at your screen, your journey to work and generally minimise the risk of an accident at work.
If you’ve had an accident at work, please feel free to leave a comment below telling us your story. It’s surprising how sometimes the smallest things can cause injury!