Fans of the NFL Super Bowl commercials may remember the 2003 competition as the day the world was introduced to “office linebacker” Terry Tate. A series of advertisements sprinkled throughout the televised game featured Tate, a 250-pound giant, wearing a soccer jersey that blinded the humble office worker for various workplace offences. Grab the last coffee without refilling the pitcher? He’ll kick you out (“You killed joe, you made some mo’!”). Making long distance personal calls on the work phone? Terry will put you through the cubicle walls.
For office residents whose workspaces aren’t patrolled by cruel handling machines, there may still be a number of less threatening dangers lurking in your office space. Office workers experience more than 75,000 workplace injuries — from sprains and strains to fractures — every year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of these injuries are caused by falls, falling objects, or overactivity, but the culprits are often ordinary office supplies.
Before you load that pile of paper into the shredder, read on for the 10 most dangerous items in the office, as well as tips for handling them safely.