Is Your Office Safe?
For the most part, working in an office environment is one of the safest types of jobs available. You don’t typically need to worry about falling objects or getting hit by an indoor vehicle. The fact is, however, that there are still risks present that everyone should be aware of.
Fortunately, many of these risks can be minimized or eliminated quite quickly and easily as long as you know what you’re looking for. If you are looking to improve your workplace safety, these ten quick safety tips in the office are a great place to start. They will provide you with real improvements that your office can benefit from for years to come.
Improve Office Safety with these Ten Tips
Tip #1 – Organizing Computer Wires
One of the biggest hazards in most offices is that there are computer cables running all over the place. In some cases they are just behind people’s PCs or under their desks, but in more concerning cases they can be running across the floor. These wires create trip hazards, electrocution hazards and even fire hazards.
The easiest way to quickly minimize this risk is to have all the wires going through a wire organizer of some sort. There are dozens of products on the market that make it quick and easy to have your wires kept neat and safe. Once you purchase the product that will fit your needs, you can simply hand them out to all the employees in the office.
The next time they are turning off their computer, instruct them to unplug each wire and run it through the organizer. This will only take a few minutes for each person, and the office will enjoy the benefits for many years to come.
Tip #2 – Not Paying Attention to where you’re walking
People in offices are constantly walking to different areas while reading papers or looking at their phones. This puts people at significant risk for bumping in to each other, tripping over something in the area, or even running into a wall.
A quick way to eliminate this risk is to ask all the employees to make sure they are paying attention to where they are going. Putting a simple policy in place that instructs people to avoid ‘walking while distracted’ will help people to always see where they are going.
In addition to the safety benefits, you’ll also enjoy the fact that people will more easily interact with each other, which can help to improve the overall office environment.
Tip #3 – Keeping File Drawers Closed
Most offices have file cabinets all over to keep paperwork and other important items. While these are a convenient storage system, they can also create some significant hazards when left open. If a drawer is located low to the ground, it can create a significant tripping hazard. If it is up higher, people could bump their head or other area and get injured.
In order to minimize this risk, there are simple products that will automatically close drawers if they are left open. There are many options to choose from, but even a simple spring based product that will pull the drawer in is very effective. Of course, it is also important to make sure everyone is reminded to close these drawers when they are finished.
Tip #4 – Organizing a Loading Dock
Like any workplace, there is a need to have items brought in and shipped out, which is why most office areas have a loading dock. In many cases, this can be quite dangerous because most people are not used to working in this type of environment.
Taking a moment to organize the area, and make it clear where people should be working is very important. Using visual safety signs, floor marking tape or floor marking shapes (which you can find here), and providing training will all help to ensure everyone is safe.
This doesn’t have to be a major overhaul of the area. Just making it easier to see where things should be, and pointing out risks is often enough to keep people safe.
Tip #5 – Placing Computer Equipment Properly
Most offices rely on computer servers and other equipment to keep everything operating smoothly. If not planned out properly, computer equipment can end up getting stacked up or moved around so that it is at risk of falling on people or causing a tripping hazard.
Instead, take a moment to make sure the computers are stacked up neatly, or better yet, installed in a cabinet that helps to ensure they are nice and secure.
Tip #6 – Never Overload Circuits
People working in offices typically have a computer and at least one monitor plugged into a nearby outlet. In addition, they may have things like a pencil sharpener, a desk lamp, and even a space heater plugged in too. If you’re not paying attention, it is quite easy to have a circuit become overloaded.
Overloaded circuits can cause power outages, and in some cases even fires or electrical hazards. To help prevent this from occurring, take a few minutes to walk through the office and look at the different outlets in the office. When you find one that has too many things plugged in, instruct the owner of that desk to fix the problem.
Tip #7 – Identifying Door Swing
People are constantly walking in and out of areas in most offices, and that typically means having a door swing open when people are walking through. If someone is standing on the other side of the door, this can result in an injury.
Many offices like to identify the area where the door will swing, so people will be aware that they are in an area where there is a risk. The easiest way to do this is to take floor tape (which you can find here) and place it on the area of the floor where the door will open. You can either just have an arched piece of tape, or you can create stripes on the floor. This type of floor marking tape is easy to apply, and can last for years without an issue.
Tip #8 – Keeping the Lights Bright
Many office environments either neglect to change burnt out light bulbs, or intentionally keep some of them turned off to conserve energy. The fact is, however, that having low light can be quite dangerous. It makes it easier to trip, and can actually create more eye strain when working on computers. Keeping the lights on whenever people are working will help keep everyone safer.
Tip #9 – Safety Signs
Just like any other workplace, the maintenance teams will need to mop floors and clean up messes on a regular basis. In most offices, however, people aren’t typically being careful where they are walking as there are usually no significant slip and fall risks.
With that in mind, it is especially important to use visible safety signs whenever the floor is wet or there is another type of hazard present.
Tip #10 – Emergency Drills
Of course, no list of safety tips in the office would be complete without discussing emergency drills. If done properly, doing drills shouldn’t take more than ten minutes, but can really help improve the overall safety of the facility. Holding fire drills, shelter-in-place drills and even emergency medical response drills can help ensure everyone is properly prepared in the event of a real emergency.
Each of these ten safety tips for the office can contribute to helping ensure everyone is safe while at the workplace. This will also help to make sure your business is able to operate smoothly at all times, and doesn’t have to struggle with downtimes due to accidents, injuries or emergencies.