Most people expect working in an office to be relatively safe, but we never know when something will go wrong. Although hazards in administration areas and offices may not always be as apparent as those faced by factory workers, office staff also face a range of safety concerns that need to be addressed this includes unsafe work areas, long-term repetitive work and tasks, moving or lifting heavy and awkward loads and safety issues when accessing storage areas and high shelving. Every business needs to be aware of the safety rules and regulations designed to keep workers safe and avoid potential lawsuits. These office safety tips will help ensure you and your employees enjoy a safe working environment.
General workplace safety
The increasing changing office environments through innovation and technology require occupational health and safety to keep pace with these changes. Workplace safety consists of making specific arrangements to avoid accidents and injuries. Health and safety risk management is critical as there is legal obligation for Employers to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. It also means being alert to potential hazards and having the knowledge needed to overcome them.
A hazard management, process is important in identifying areas or situations that could potentially result in illness or injury. The best and safest course of action is to plan for all types of emergencies. A checklist is an important way of identifying and tabulating potential hazards. This can initially be done by conducting a walk-through inspection of the office areas. A potential hazard is anything that could cause harm or injury in the work environment. Some of the potential hazards to look for include;
- Physical Hazards, like poorly designed desks and office seating that do not provide proper ergonomic support, tripping hazards caused by poor housekeeping or exposed electrical leads and prolonged work practices that could cause repetitive strain injuries.
- Falling Hazards, caused by using a damaged or unsuitable ladder, not using approved equipment when accessing high shelving and storage areas
- Electrical Hazards, such as use of overloaded power board and electrical cords, excessive use of extension cords, and equipment not being tagged and tested as required by safety guidelines
- Mechanical Hazards, like badly designed shelving or storage units, overloaded file drawers causing cabinet to tip over and poorly designed work areas
- Lifting Hazards, caused by lifting and carrying heavy boxes and cartons, relocating office equipment and work practices that require repetitive bending and lifting
General office safety tips
- Keep the working areas clean and tidy. Stacks of paperwork and tangled wires lead to accidents. Clean work areas and good housekeeping also allow you to see and identify a problem quickly and fix it sooner.
- Use a hand truck when moving or relocating heavy office equipment.
- Keep floors clean and dry, and mop up spills immediately.
- Maintain good lighting on stairways and in walkways.
- Make sure computers and keyboards are adjustable for employees to avoid injuries.
- Keep sharp objects such as scissors, guillotines, and staplers in safe locations.
- For safe access to higher shelf levels ensure you use an industrial rated platform step ladder
- Use a Clax Cart for easy and safe movement of stationery items and office consumables
- A office trolley is useful for moving heavy loads like archive boxes and photocopy paper
- Electric scissor lift trolleys are widely used for raising and lowering of heavy loads