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Fatigue leading cause of workplace injuries at office

Many Arizonans work in office environments where they may think themselves unlikely to suffer a serious workplace injury. However, the director of the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety reminds all Arizona workers and employers, including those working in an office environment, that they need to prepare themselves to help a colleague who has been hurt at work by an unexpected accident or an overlooked office hazard. With 50 people in this country being injured at work each minute, preparation can be the key in preventing a mishap from escalating into a serious injury or illness.

The director explained that oftentimes, a work accident can result when a company does not recognize a hazardous condition. This may be particularly true in white-collar office environments, where neither employees nor their employers naturally think that they are in any kind of great risk for a work accident. However, things like sharp items or exposed wires and cords can easily injure an unsuspecting office worker, just as easily as they can injure anybody else.

Moreover, the director also explained that worker fatigue is a common cause of accidents and injuries and, as a result, she recommended that employees get plenty of rest both while off work and via regular breaks while on the job. Of course, office workers can and often do come to work on little sleep, particularly when they have families or second jobs that also occupy their time.

As with any other work environment, offices need to be prepared for workplace accidents and also take reasonable steps to ensure workplace safety. When offices do not do so, and even when they do, a worker may suffer an injury while on the job. In these situations, a worker may be eligible to receive compensation through Arizona's workers' compensation system for items like medical expenses and lost income.

Source: East Arizona Courier, "Keys to injury response in the office," Jessie Atencio, Aug. 28, 2013

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