When work safety is mentioned, people immediately think of construction sites which are unarguably dangerous places to work. However, your typical office comes with a whole set of safety and health challenges that aren’t apparent right away.
It is only when you dig deeper into everyday activities that you realize that office workers are exposed to numerous hazards; the 4 of the most common ones we’ll explain in detail. It is up to the employer (through the mediation of the HR department) and conscientious employees to ensure that the risk of injury is reduced to a minimum.
A slip leads to a fall
If you fail to understand the importance of the caution sign “wet floor,” you have obviously never slipped and fallen on a hard surface. Accidents that involve tripping over a power cable or slipping on a wet floor are among the leading causes of injury in the office. Perhaps the bleakest part of these statistics is the fact that these types of accidents are easily preventable.
Firstly, when you hire a company that will keep the office clean, schedule the cleaning hours outside working hours, i.e. if your staff leave the company premises at 5 PM; the cleaning crew should enter the building at 5.30 PM.
Further on, workers should be taught to recognize a pool of water or another liquid as a serious threat to safety. Spilling coffee or juices is something you cannot prevent, but workers can go to the office kitchen to get some towels and wipe off the liquid they have spilled.
When it comes to the danger of tripping, power cables are usually to blame, as we have stated earlier. If applicable, all cables should run against the walls or under the carpet. However, in cases when an extension floor has to be laid on the office floor, use gaffer tape to stick it to the floor.
Be careful when lifting, transporting, and stacking boxes
Office workers are filled with joy when a high-tech printer new shipment of office supplies arrive but this occasion calls for some good old manual labor. The shipment companies are often understaffed so they are likely to ask your employees to help. In other instances, the office staff might be delegated with the task of stacking the supplies room or moving furniture from room to another.
The tasks listed above might seem trivial or mundane but they’re definitely not safe. When stacking shelves, a box might fall from the top shelf, injuring workers below. Furthermore, lifting heavy objects has the potential to throw out a worker’s back, causing them to take sick leave.
The measures to prevent injury from carrying heavy boxes are quite simple. Issue a note stating that items should not be stored in high places. In addition, give oral instructions to employees not to help couriers because you cannot be liable when an injury occurs.
Dealing with fire hazards
Speaking of power cables, we must say that faulty wiring is one of the leading causes not only for the house but office fires as well. Therefore, you should do your best to reduce the risk of fire breaking out by applying preventive measures and by equipping the office with the right safety gear.
Start by holding fire drills. Educatethe employees that materials the office is made from are highly flammable and toxic when exposed to fire. In fact, if a fire breaks out, the people trapped inside are more likely to die from CO2 poisoning than from the flames themselves, which is probably what the local fire chief will tell your staff as well.
As a means of preventing an office fire, you should invite a reliable local electrician company to inspect the wiring in the entire building. If some sections of it are outdated or damaged, then you should replace them right away. Finally, adhere to the fire regulations in your state and keep a fire extinguisher and hoses nearby.
Noise pollution is a real issue
You might not think of the office as a loud place but in reality, it can get noisy inside it. As you might know already, noise pollution is not a fad but a real health issue in big cities. The noise level inside the office won’t make anyone go deaf but they will add to the level of stress significantly
Apart from office workers talking at the same time, the biggest noise polluters are PCs, printers, and the ventilation system. The solution to the buzz of the latter is to remove ducts from rooms where people stay. If workers have their own offices or cubicles, investing in soundproofing can help reduce the overall noise level.
These were just the top 4 office hazards that are the most common in the office in our opinion. Once you start perceiving the office as an unsafe environment, you will notice many more hazards and deal with them on the spot. The end result will be fewer work-related injuries, fewer absentees, and a decreasing number of lawsuits against the employer for negligence.