Office jobs aren’t normally associated with many hazards. In fact, working in an office is considered pretty safe when compared to many other industries, including factories, health care facilities, or auto shops. That doesn’t mean that office work is completely without its risks, however. Business Insider explains a few of the many hazards facing office workers, some of which can have significant health consequences.
You’d think the air inside a modern office building would be completely clean and free of contaminants. This is not actually the case in many workplaces, as air within an office building can be brimming with bacteria, gases, and dangerous chemicals. Mold is huge concern in office cooling systems, as mold can cause serious reactions in people with sensitivities and allergies. Additionally, an office that isn’t properly maintained creates an even more hazardous working environment, especially for people who work long hours on a regular basis.
Office equipment can also be a cause for concern. Ozone may be released by photocopiers and printers when they’re not properly maintained. Additionally, the toner used to color printouts can also make its way into the lungs and blood. Over time, breathing in these contaminants may increase your risk of developing lung disease. Effects can occur even after a relatively small amount of these contaminants are inhaled.
Staring at a computer screen for hours every day is also damaging. Vision issues, like blurriness, irritation, and eye pain, are quite common for office workers who log many hours in front of a computer. Eye strain causes other symptoms, such as frequent migraines and tension headaches. Computer equipment can also harm you in other ways. The average office keyboard contains five times more germs and bacteria than the office bathroom. Many of these germs, such as E. coli, are known to cause health issues.