Falling in the Office: Rolling Chair Hazards

Falling in the Office: Rolling Chair Hazards

by / Friday, 29 April 2022 / Published in Workplace Woes
Modern office space.

When you think of all the possible safety hazards that may exist in a workplace, a chair might not be one of the first things that comes to mind. And we’re not even talking about the negative health effects that can come with spending too much time sitting during the workday or ergonomic injuries that might develop over time. We’re talking about injuries that occur when a chair does something like roll away from a person as they do things like lean over to pick up something that fell or when they move to reach for something on their workstation. Injuries related to rolling chairs tend to be most common among people who work in healthcare, clerical positions, in education, in hospitality, in manufacturing, and in retail. 

Rolling chair accidents are a type of accident that does, indeed, occur. For many people, a rolling desk chair is important for helping them work efficiently, allowing them to reach for the things they need throughout the day with minimal effort. But it’s very easy for things to go wrong while using one of those chairs. 

A key part of safely using a desk chair comes down to user behavior. Doing things like standing on a rolling chair or leaning too far forward/backward are not recommended. But not all office chair injuries are caused by human actions. It can be extremely easy for a chair to slide away from a person because of slippery floors. Or a chair could tip over if it’s placed on a hard floor surface near a carpeted area and wheels get stuck as they move over the different surfaces. It’s very important for desk chairs to have the right type of casters on them. Some types of casters are designed to grip the surface of hard floors so that they won’t slide away so easily. 

It’s also possible that a chair was not as stable as it should be. OSHA specifically advises that desk chairs have five legs instead of four because chairs with four legs are more prone to tipping over. 

Like many other pieces of equipment in a workplace, chairs need to be inspected and maintained to make sure they are safe to use. Over time, components of desk chairs can become damaged and worn out. For example, if the mechanism that controls the tension of a chair’s recline mechanism isn’t working properly anymore, it could be easy for someone to fall if the chair reclines faster than anticipated. 

Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to make sure your claim for workers compensation is handled correctly from the very beginning. Even if it seems like your employer is being cooperative, there’s a chance that you might not be getting all of the benefits you need while you recover. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to speak to a workplace injury lawyer experienced in helping the victims of on-the-job injuries in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Image: iStock / vicnt