While you might be thinking that the average workplace is relatively safe, there are potential hazards everywhere, even in an office. As an employer, it is your responsibility to minimize the risk of accidents in the workplace. With that in mind, here are a few common hazards that can be found in the office.
The reason we put out the ‘wet floor’ sign is to warn people that the floor is wet and therefore slippery. Even a small splash of water could cause a person to slip and fall. If your office doesn’t have a few ‘Caution: Wet Floor’ signs, you can easily order them from an online supplier.
All IT cables need to be channelled, keeping them out of sight, thus preventing a nasty accident. Even a smartphone charging cable could cause a person to lose their balance. It is something to include in staff meetings, as a reminder.
People that sit in front a computer screens all day can suffer with back and neck injuries. Adjustable office chairs of good quality is one solution, with wireless keyboards and mice, so people can work in whatever position they find comfortable. If you notice a staff member rubbing their back or neck, perhaps you could do more to offer a range of seating solutions, while also encouraging office staff to exercise a few minutes a day. Another aspect of office work is the strain it can put on your eyes. Staring at a digital screen for hours on end is harmful to the eyes and you are advised to take a short break every 2 hours and focus on far away things to give you eyesight a breather.
Of course, fire is a major hazard and checking all electrical cords for signs of fraying is one thing you can do. Never overload a power extension, as this could lead to a fire and keep an eye on all plugs. Extinguishers should be in place and all staff should know how to use them. Fire exits should always be free from obstruction as well. Space heaters can be very dangerous, and they need to be kept away from blinds, curtains, and furniture. If you search online for a workplace health and safety consulting firm, they can help you in many ways.
While stress might not be evident, it affects people in different ways. It is important that office staff have a place to relax and that they take breaks often. If you are in the office daily, you will notice if the staff are showing signs of stress. You could lighten the load for that person and regularly enquire about how they are feeling.
As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can make the office a safer place to work. It is a good idea to have safety meetings on a monthly basis, when staff can discuss past events and look for ways to reduce the risk by identifying potential hazards.