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The Most Common Office Injuries and How to Prevent Them

The Most Common Office Injuries and How to Prevent Them

“Over 3 million workplace injuries take place every year.” – After Math Statistics,

It’s easy to get complacent when you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get injured even in the safety of your cubicle.

Many office injuries are preventable. Keep reading to learn what the most common office-related injuries are and how to avoid them.

Slipping and falling is a very common workplace injury.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Falling is the most commonly reported injury that happens in the office. There are many factors involved in this. 

If the janitorial staff has recently mopped or buffed a floor, it can be easy to slip on them if you don’t look out for the caution signs. 

Loose carpet and electrical cords should be properly secured down and organized to prevent people from tripping over them. Lighting that isn’t adequate also makes it difficult to spot these obstacles.

Remember to always clean up spills at work!

Repetitive injuries are common without proper ergonomics.

A lot of injuries are suffered because of actions which are repeated throughout the day. A common injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be aggravated by not practicing proper ergonomic habits and manifests in numbness and pain in the wrist and hand.

Proper posture and regular breaks should also be practiced. If you find yourself leaning forward a lot in your chair, try to remind yourself to use the backrest. You should also stand, stretch, and move around for at least 10 minutes every hour.

Consider hiring an ergonomics consultant to perform a workplace assessment for best results.

Unfortunately, workplace violence is a real occurrence.

It’s unfortunate but occasionally people let their anger get the best of them and take things too far in the workplace. A well-trained HR department and proper management of chaotic situations are key in preventing these incidents.

Setting up training for your employees to know what to do in case the unthinkable occurs is also very important to ensure that people don’t get seriously hurt.

Digital eye strain is real.

You’re looking at a screen right now. It might be a computer screen or your phone screen but regardless, it can put too much strain on your eyes and cause lasting damage.

Learn to use safety features that come with most monitors and phones that reduce the harmful light that comes from a screen. You should also stay away from staring at screens during your breaks from working at your desk.

Fire safety should never be ignored.

Office accidents happen no matter how much planning you do. If a fire breaks out your office should be equipped to handle it.

Fire extinguishers in the appropriate places and exits that are clear of obstacles and properly marked are very important in making sure that employees can evacuate safely and in a timely fashion.

In conclusion, stay safe in the workplace by being proactive.

The good news is that many common office injuries are preventable. Adopting a few good habits, proper training, and performing an ergonomics assessment is a great way to prevent future injury in the office.

Visit to learn more about the importance of workplace ergonomics or Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation.

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Ice versus Heat for Lower Back

Ice versus Heat for Lower Back

By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Solutions Northwest, Inc. – Arcata, California

Ice VS Heat for Lower Back Pain Relief

“More than half of Americans (54%) who experience low back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting.” TheGoodBody

Whether your workstation has been designed by an ergonomic specialist or not, constantly sitting at your work desk can lead to lower back pain. In fact, 54% of Americans with sedentary jobs experienced low back pain.

After a long day of sitting at work, you may want to treat your back pain, but should you grab the ice pack or the heating pad?

After Injury, Apply Cold Therapy First

If you injure your lower back, it is best to apply cold therapy during the first 24 to 72 hours. Cold therapy will help minimize inflammation and swelling, which reduces pain and can decrease tissue damage. While there are special ice packs designed for cold therapy, a frozen towel or even a bag of vegetables will do.

However, it is important to be careful when using ice packs as they can burn your skin. Try using a cloth between your skin and the cold source. Do not use cold therapy for more than 20 minutes at a time and do not use it more than 10 times during a 24 hour period.

Apply Heat After Initial Swelling and Inflammation has Subsided

After you use cold therapy to bring down swelling and inflammation, begin using heat therapy to encourage the healing process. Heat therapy increases the blood flow to your injury, bringing more nutrients to the injured area while flushing out the injured debris. Heat also increases tissue elasticity, which helps relieve tension and knots.

For minor back tension, 15-20 minutes of heat therapy may be enough. For more intense pain, 30 minutes to 2 hours of heat therapy may be needed.

Apply dry or moist heat (whichever you prefer) with over the counter heat pads, creams, saunas, or hot tub. An easy home remedy is to fill an old sock with rice or oatmeal, tie or sew it shut, and put it in the microwave for 1-3 minutes.

Use caution to avoid burns, as you should be experiencing warmth and not intense heat.

Ice vs Heat for Chronic Lower Back Pain

What if you don’t have a new injury, but just have chronic lower back pain from sitting all day at the office? In this case, there really is no right answer when it comes to hot versus cold. Everyone is different, so trial and error may be in order.

However, some experts suggest that you should use heat therapy to loosen up your muscles for the work day and use cold therapy afterward to help with any pain and inflammation.

In Conclusion

Remember, when it comes to any kind of pain or injury, always consult with your doctor first. Also, be sure to get up and walk around every 20 minutes while at work and live an active life to help avoid any workplace injuries. For more health tips, exercise ideas, and suggestions to keep your workplace a healthy environment, check out our blog featuring advice from our ergonomics experts.

For an ergonomics consultation to keep your workplace safe and healthy, visit or Contact Us for more detailed information.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California (Arcata), Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.


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