Michael Scott’s Guide to Surviving Your 9-5

459927107When you wake up and go to work every day, you probably never stop to think about what could happen while you’re there. Whether you’re out in the field doing construction work, carrying heavy boxes around the office, or constantly moving up and down floors it matters little – you can get hurt on the job anywhere. Perhaps, even more alarming is this fact: every day in America, thirteen people go to work and never come home. In addition, more than 4 million work-related injuries occur each year in the US. That sense of dread that creeps over you before you head to work each day might actually have some merit.

A few of you will see those numbers and sneer because your 9-5 office job couldn’t possibly be dangerous, right? Wrong. Some of the weirdest work-related accidents actually happened to people who worked in an office. For instance, an elementary gym school teacher was struck by lightning while sitting in his office inside the school building. Sure, it might be thanks to a stroke of bad luck but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you.

Offices aren’t the only dangerous place to work. A waitress at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant lifted a tray above her head, and it actually caused her lungs to collapse. That’s pretty scary! Even scarier is the full list of where the most common workplace injuries come from. At work you’re most likely to be injured by lifting, slips, stress, muscle strains, tendon injuries, toppling objects, workplace violence, hazardous materials, trips and falls — not to mention carpal tunnel.

It’s also worth noting that some of the deadliest jobs out there are not the most obvious. Sure, the danger for logging workers, structural iron and steel workers, roofers and electrical power-line workers is not surprising. What about farmers and ranchers, fishermen, refuse material collectors, truck drivers, construction workers and pilots? You might have pegged one or two of those jobs, but we’re willing to bet at least one of them was a surprise.

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Workplace injuries aren’t restricted to certain geographical areas either. If you take a look at where fatal accidents occur most, you’ll see they can happen anywhere. The five states with the most fatal work injuries in 2013 were California (385), Illinois (172), Florida (234), Texas (493) and Pennsylvania (178).

Point being, you may not be as safe at work as you think you are. Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere, anytime. You have to remember they aren’t always self-inflicted either. Someone else may be responsible for your injury, leaving you with absolutely no control over what happens.

Before you walk away, dismissing this information as irrelevant to you, consider this: a British teaching assistant received a compensation settlement of $800,000 after she tripped at work and dislocated a finger. Was her pain worth $800K? Probably not, but you never know what could have happened. Her injury could have ended up a lot worse. To add to that, you could sustain an injury at work that’s a lot worse and there’s no guarantee you’ll get any compensation for it – let alone $800,000 smackeroos.

So remember, safety is important. The next time you head to work keep this in mind and make sure you’re not one of the unfortunate folks who doesn’t return home after a normal workday.

For more information on work related injuries you can check this infographic fromKatherman Briggs & Greenberg.



Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington
Scott Huntongton is a journalist, reporter, writer and blogger. Find him at blogspike.com, @smhuntington and Google+

Scott Huntington

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