As working environments go, offices are fairly safe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks to be considered. When accidents happen and employees make legal claims, the cost can be extremely detrimental to businesses. Luckily, appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that risks are managed, and employees are kept safe. Throughout this article, we will tell you how to set up a safe office environment.
Office work often involves sitting down for long periods, which is why office ergonomics are central to creating a safe working environment. There are multiple measures you can take to ensure your employees’ health and posture are protected while carrying out daily takes. Put the following considerations into your health and safety plan:
- Having correct office furniture is essential, so make sure office chairs are equipped with lumbar support, headrests, and adequate cushioning.
- Keyboard and screen alignment need to be correct to prevent unnecessary body or head twisting.
- Consider the position of computer screens to reduce unnecessary glare or reflections. If people need to bend in awkward positions to see the screen, they are more likely to be injured.
- Adjustable screens, desk chairs, and keyboards are essential for making sure the height is right. In some cases, you may need to provide risers and footrests to your employees.
If the office is laid out incorrectly, the effects won’t be realized for some time and damage can be permanent in severe cases.
Identify All Hazards
You need to carry out a risk assessment to identify all the hazards in the workplace. These will often include slips, trips, and falls. Common hazards in the office will include cables, which can easily be managed. You will need to write down a plan for exactly how you are managing hazards in the workplace and creating a safe office environment. Making sure all employees know the health and safety guidelines will go a long way. Put a disciplinary procedure in place for people found not following health and safety guidelines.
Be Accident Ready
No matter how much work you put into health and safety, there will always be the odd accident that slips through the net. Make sure you’re prepared by keeping efficient accident records and having a fully equipped first aid kit for the office. When you’re putting together staff rosters, make sure that at least one person is trained in first aid.
Provide Efficient Breaks
Sitting down in the same position for extended periods puts unnecessary pressure on the body. Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death in extreme cases. Make sure you are encouraging regular breaks to help employees stay in good shape. If you can, try and differentiate work to include standing and sitting activities.
Creating a safe office environment is fairly straightforward. The key areas to focus on are managing the physical environment, being prepared for accidents, and making sure the workplace is ergonomic. If your company is faced with a legal claim, you need to prove beyond doubt that every measure was taken to avoid the incident.