Being aware of office safety hazards and learning safety tips can go a long way toward preventing accidents. The leading types of accidents that occur in an office are often the result of falls, overexertion or improper materials storage.
To help you prevent each of these types of incidents we’ve outlined our top office safety tips.
Help prevent a fall with these tips.
Office pathways can quickly become obstacle courses filled with boxes, supplies, cords and unused furniture. Workers looking at their phones or paperwork can easily trip and fall. To prevent accidents the main arteries and pathways of your office need to be decluttered. What you must keep put on shelves or in boxes in your office storage room and recycle or shred the rest. Secure cables, wires and electrical cords, keep file drawers closed and remove unused furniture and equipment.
Secure all electrical cords.
A business with cables and cords running throughout the office doesn’t look very professional and has the potential to cause falls. To assure the safety of workers and clients, have professionals install the cords correctly and preferably out of sight.
Always use a ladder for overhead reaching.
Trying to reach boxes and equipment stored on overhead shelves could easily create a disastrous situation. To help reach items on upper shelves, keep a sturdy ladder in the storage room with flat steps, hinged back and rubber grips on the feet. Designate a spot to store the ladder and on the top step write “No Standing Here.” Near the ladder post a name and phone number for employees to call if they need assistance with large items.
Fix any loose flooring.
Tack down loose floorboards and glue down loose tiles. Smooth out bunched up carpeting and repair and secure frayed and curled edges.
Wear non-slip shoes.
When working around wet surfaces non-slip matting should be provided and employees should wear water-proof, non-slip footwear. Around slippery, greasy surfaces your staff will need slip-resistant overshoes in addition to their non-slip shoes.
Help prevent overexertion with these tips.
If you’re lifting something beyond your ability, ask for help.
If you need to move a large item and it can’t be separated into smaller parts, ask for help. Don’t risk hurting your back, neck and shoulders or arm and leg muscles.
When lifting anything, use a proper lifting stance.
When lifting cumbersome or heavy objects, remember to use your knees and not your back! Stand close to the object, position your legs a shoulder width apart, while centering yourself over the load. Tighten your stomach muscles to support your back and keep the load close to you, so you aren’t leaning out. Bend your knees, squat down and let your legs do the lifting, keeping your head up and looking straight ahead. Don’t twist your back when you turn!
Store materials at knee level whenever possible instead of on the floor.
Store heavy objects no lower than knee level. Lifting from below your knees doubles your risk for back injury. Anything lifted from above your shoulders risks neck and shoulder injuries.
Help prevent materials from falling and injuring an employee with these tips.
Store heavier objects on lower shelves.
Trying to grab heavy objects from top shelves risks dropping the item on your head, shoulders or toes, as well as possibly tipping over shelves.
Make designated storage areas.
Assign a room as a storage area for supplies and keep it that way, don’t let it fill up with old furniture and unused equipment Your staff shouldn’t have to risk tripping on boxes when looking for pens and printer ink.
Leave aisles unobstructed.
Boxes left in office pathways are tripping hazards. If the material is essential, move the boxes to the storage area., otherwise shred or recycle the contents and get rid of the boxes.
Every business should have a list of workplace safety tips posted in storage areas where it can be easily seen. But, do more than that. Create a workplace-safety campaign in which you highlight one or two safety tips at your monthly or weekly office meetings. To make sure you’ve reached everyone, send the information again in a monthly newsletter.
This little bit of effort is far less involved and cheaper than the costs associated with lost productivity and business, increased insurance premiums and retraining replacement workers.