While many people in Arizona may think only workers in industries such as construction and manufacturing are at risk, occupational hazards exist in all sectors. They may be surprised to learn that there is more than one work injury that can happen in an office just as quickly as on a construction site. For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects employers in all industries to establish safety protocols that will address all known hazards.
Although it is true that chefs in busy kitchens face risks of being injured by sharp objects and hot steam, they face the same slip-and-fall dangers as office workers, construction workers and many others because spillages of liquids pose the same threat to all. The same goes for randomly placed objects that can cause workers in any environment to trip and suffer serious injuries. The risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries are also as likely to affect an office worker who attempts push, pull or lift a heavy desk, carry office equipment or stretch to reach boxes of stationery on high shelves as a warehouse worker with similar duties.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive motion injury that is often associated with line workers in production facilities and meat and poultry processing plants. However, a computer programmer or data capturer who types on a keyboard and operates a mouse for many hours without taking breaks is just as susceptible to such injuries. Employers must not overlook these common hazards and injury types when they focus on establishing safe workplaces.
While the ideal work environment is one in which employee safety is a top priority, this is not par for the course. Although almost every work injury is preventable, Arizona workers frequently have to face medical expenses and lost wages due to unaddressed safety hazards. Fortunately, they have access to workers’ compensation benefits that typically cover those costs. Furthermore, legal counsel is available to assist with the complicated claims process.