Bankers Sitting for Too Long and Other Hazards

Each year approximately three million workplace injuries are reported. When we think of different professions and industries with a proclivity for risk, we tend to think of things such as construction companies or moving companies. We cannot imagine that bankers and bank employees would have many risks. But for these individuals there is one particular risk in plain sight: sitting.

Just like any other business, banks and credit unions are obligated under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. Bank and credit union manages are responsible for creating such a space.

The Risks of Sitting for Hours at a Time
According to Risk & Insurance, there can be significant risks to sitting at a desk for 40 hours per week or more. Most employees who sit at a desk for this type of cumulative time per week suffer from back and/or neck injuries.

In fact, the fastest growing cause for Workers’ Compensation in the United States is musculoskeletal issues. They are caused from microtraumas that occur when an individual is sitting for too long of a time or has poor overall posture. Surprisingly, though, these repetitive back strain injuries are often unreported.

The Issue with Identifying Musculoskeletal Injuries
One of the problems with these types of injuries is that they often take years to develop, are ongoing, and can also be extremely difficult to figure out and prove the true cause of.

Between frequent doctors’ visits and other treatments to try to minimize the pain and inflammation, these injuries account for billions of dollars per year in claims.

Reducing the Chances of Injury
To help reduce the number of these types of injuries to bankers, it is recommended that banks provide comfortable chairs and ergonomic workspaces that do a good job of helping to support posture.

It is also extremely important to encourage and reinforce that employees take breaks to get up, stretch, and walk around.

When possible, employers should attempt to avoid making employees sit at their desks or stations for long periods of time.

Other Potential Hazards for Bankers
In addition to musculoskeletal injuries from too much sitting, there are some other hazards bankers face at work. Among these are:

Workplace violence – While this can happen in nearly every industry, it is a particular hazard when money changes hands. While there can certainly be problems between coworkers, everyone is familiar with the concept of bank robberies. More than 4,200 bank robberies occurred in 2016, according the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Slips and Falls – During inclement weather, water, snow and salt can get dragged into banks, making floors slippery. Further, matts laid out during the winter months can also become tripping hazards. Year-round, cords on the floor may also be hazardous to bank employee wellbeing.
Repetitive Strain Injuries – Like any office worker, bankers are prone to additional repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Brian Allen Wall, Jr.

Licensed since 1988

Member at firm McCann & Wall LLC Law Offices

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