As an employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your staff safe during their workday. Offices might not seem like dangerous places, but there are hazards that can cause accidents and injuries. It’s important to keep your office a safe place to be to avoid staff being hurt and in extreme cases, you being sued if you’ve been careless. 

  1. Keep the office clutter-free. One of the most common causes of an accident at work is trips and falls caused by office clutter. Boxes, files, and other items piled in walkways create a tripping hazard. Make sure that everything is stored in its proper place and that walkways and doors are kept clear. Make sure any cables are properly secure and covered too.
  2. Properly store heavy items. A heavy item that is not properly stored or secured can cause some nasty injuries. Heavy objects should be stored close to the floor. Take note of the load capacity of any shelving or storage units to avoid them collapsing from being piled with too much stuff. 
  3. Provide adjustable equipment. Sitting a desk all day is bad for our health, and sitting incorrectly can lead to back and shoulder pain, leading to staff time off. Avoid this problem by offering adjustable equipment. Chairs, work surfaces, and monitors should all be adjustable so staff can set them up in a way that suits them. Spending the money on ergonomic equipment will save you money in the long-run when compared to the cost of lost productivity, absenteeism, and replacing equipment. When you have new starters in the office, check that their workspace needs are met and that they know how to safely configure their setup for the safest posture and comfort. 
  4. Get the lighting right. Fluorescent lights popular in office buildings are actually too bright for optimal vision. To correct this, remove some bulbs from overhead fixtures, and instead provide staff with individual task lamps so they can add more light if they need it without causing eye strain. Make sure these lamps have bulbs that are fully recessed, so there is no bright spot in their line of vision while working. 
  5. Keep cords in good repair. Damaged power cords are a major fire hazard and violate safety cords. All electrical cords should be inspected regularly, and taken out of service if they are becoming frayed or have any exposed wire. Make sure that outlets are not being overloaded too. 
  6. Conduct walk-throughs. The best way to keep your office hazard free is to walk through it on a regular basis to check for any problems. Often after a safety plan is put into place, standards begin to slip after a while, and people start piling up files everywhere again or plugging too many things into the outlets. A regular walk-through stops this from happening as you can identify and correct any potential problems before they cause accidents later on. Take into employee complaints too, as this can help you spot other issues. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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