Hazards in offices might not be as obvious as those in high- risk work environments, such as building sites and mines, but there is still a range of factors in office environments that can pose health and safety risks for you and your employees.
To help you avoid injuries and incidents occurring in an office environment, we’ve put together the following information and advice about the most common types of office safety hazards.
Ergonomics involves finding the best way to arrange the workplace so that your staff can perform their jobs and use their work equipment safely and efficiently.
It can be easy to take for granted that your team have their workstations set up correctly, but it’s important to recognise how ergonomic issues may affect the health, safety and wellbeing of people working in offices.
The most common injuries and incidents related to ergonomics come from the incorrect use of computers and other screen-based equipment. The potential for overuse or repetitive strain injuries is the main area of concern.
Find more information about office ergonomics here.
Slips, trips and falls
From electrical cables across walkways to floor mats, unexpected steps in poorly-lit areas, slippery surfaces, and storage that requires workers to use step ladders or reach above shoulder height, offices can be full of slip, trip and fall hazards.
Serious injuries can happen as a result so the workplace should be checked regularly for such dangers, and any risks of slips, trips and falls should be controlled.
Find out more about avoiding slips, trips and falls here.
Office work tends to involve prolonged periods of sitting, which can mean a significant risk to your workers’ health.
Potential risks can include heart disease, increased risk of Type II Diabetes, or physical injuries such as strains and sprains.
This one is the easiest to avoid - frequent short breaks from sitting, spread throughout the day, is the number one recommendation to decrease these risks.
Untidy offices are not only less efficient but can also create a trip hazard. Poor housekeeping can also obstruct fire or emergency exits, as well as lead to injury if a person is always navigating around a cluttered work area.
Another easy one to fix, this just requires all staff to be aware of clutter and mess and to keep their work areas tidy and free of hazards.