It is likely that when you think about hazardous workplaces, the office is not at the top of your list. However, the statistics on office injuries may surprise you.

In fact, when it comes to falling, the workplace is rife with this type of injury. According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, office workers are over two times more likely to suffer injured in a fall on the job as compared to workers in other work environments.

What causes these injuries?

Many mundane objects in a workplace are responsible for injury. For instance, often one co-worker will leave a file cabinet open, and another will walk by and trip over it. Electrical cords are a very common culprit as well, particularly if they are strung across hallways. Some employees, if they need to reach high up places, will elect to stand on their chairs instead of retrieving a step ladder.

Some falls are due to defects in the workplace itself. For instance, older buildings may have loose carpeting that can pose a tripping hazard. Sometimes wet floors (either caused by janitorial staff or people tracking in rain and snow) also are responsible for falls, particularly if they are not clearly marked.

What can I do to prevent falls?

The first is vigilance on your part. Make sure that you are paying attention to your surroundings when you are walking around your workplace: look for open drawers or electrical cords and other hazards. Make sure that you use a proper ladder to reach things up high.

Also report hazardous conditions to your employer so the employer can fix hazardous conditions like loose carpeting.