Injuries can happen anywhere and not just on the construction site, heck I just injured my back holding a phone between my shoulder and ear whilst juggling two coffees and trying to get into a car!
My point is, you can injure yourself anywhere; it doesn’t have to be on a construction site or somewhere that’s automatically considered to be a dangerous worksite. Workplace injuries can happen in the safest perceived environments.
Below we detail hidden dangers of working in places other than construction.
Sitting too long
The human body isn’t designed to sit for long periods of time; it’s designed for regular movement. Today’s modern office working environment encourages sitting for up to 10 hours a day, and it’s a proven fact that this causes long term damage to the body, this includes:
- Heart disease – less blood flow and less fat burning making it easier for fatty acids to clog your heart
- Digestion disorders – sitting down after eating causes the digestion system to slow down due to the abdomen being compressed – this then leads to reflux, cramping, IBS, bloating and constipation.
- Posture problems and muscular degeneration – this is a major problem among office workers. Believe it or not sitting down puts more pressure on your spine than standing. Sitting for long periods of time restricts blood flow between your spinal disks and can lead to herniated and degenerated disks. Sitting for too long can also lead to varicose veins, hip problems due to muscle shortening and weak bones.
A great solution to help companies combat the effects of sitting for too long is to install sit/stand desks for their staff. By doing so it encourages staff to take responsibility for their health by standing and sitting at intervals through the day to improve blood flow and posture.
Companies can also encourage regular breaks by offering an alternative activity for staff to participate in throughout the day. A good example is installing a table tennis table in the kitchen, this encourages staff to be social and at the same time get some movement into their day.
Stray or unconfined cables are an accident waiting to happen. You just need to trip or fall into something the wrong way, and you could be on your way to the emergency room. If possible, cables should be confined to walls, behind desks and ceiling suspension. If this is not possible and cables need to cross pathways, consider using a rubber cable cover, these can be purchased from most hardware stores.
Slips from spills account for the majority of falls in the workplace. It’s important that all workplaces have a clear procedure in place for identifying and addressing spills. This includes highlighting the area affected and the satisfactorily cleaning the area.
Emotional and physiological stress is an OH&S issue that is becoming more and more prominent in workplace environments. This can be caused by a build up of work and personal pressures or a result of bullying in the workplace.
It’s important for workplaces to support staff affected by stress with flexible work hours, offering necessary counseling and, most of all, encouraging regular annual leave
About the Author:
This article was written by the team at The Temporary Fencing Shop, specialists in temporary fencing products and crowd control barriers across Australia.