When it comes to health and safety in the workplace, most people think of construction sites and factories. These are the places that could be considered the riskiest, due to heavy lifting, fall hazards, and potentially dangerous tools and machinery. The people working in the office could be considered the safest, despite the potential for pricking their finger on a drawing pin or trapping their hands in a staple gun!
Of course, drawing pins and staple guns are not the only health and safety hazards in the office environment (if they can even be classified as hazards). If you’re a business owner with office workers in your employ, there are other hazards that should be on your radar. These include the following.
#1: Fire risks
With a lot of electrical equipment plugged into the mains, there could be a fire risk if power outlets are overloaded. Dodgy power cords could also be the cause of a fire as can electric heaters used in the winter if they aren’t monitored correctly. If there are problems with the electrical wiring in the office lighting, there is also the risk of a fire!
It’s advisable to get your electrical equipment and lighting tested by a qualified electrician. You should also call on fire extinguisher services, commit to regular fire drills, and give your employees training on how to avoid a fire risk. By taking these steps, your office workers will be safer and so will your business premises.
#2: Ergonomic injuries
If your office employees are seated for most of the day, they are at risk of ergonomic injuries if they aren’t sat correctly or if their desks and chairs aren’t ergonomically designed. Injuries can include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, and there is also the risk of sedentary health issues too!
To avoid any problems, it is advisable to purchase ergonomic furniture. Training on how to sit with the correct posture can also be recommended. You should also encourage your employees to take regular breaks as a lot of problems can be alleviated if they can exercise a little during the day.
#3: Slips and trips
Slips and trips are common in office environments. They are usually caused by drink spillages, loose cables, and clutter that has been placed on the floor. If such issues aren’t contained, your employees will be at risk, including those that are directly in the path of a falling staff member.
To avoid these risks, spillages should be cleaned immediately, with the appropriate signage put down to warn others of wet flooring. Cables should be securely taped down or placed away from walking areas. And more storage should be considered if clutter is an issue, as a tidier office is quite obviously a safer office!
Keep an eye out for these and other health and safety risks in your office. You will protect your employees if you do, improve productivity, and alleviate the chances of a workplace injury claim!
Commit to regular risk assessments and if your employees come to you with any health and safety concerns, listen to them and take the appropriate actions.