Work safety takes priority mostly for field jobs in which workers are exposed to various dangers. Office work is considered safe and for a good reason, since not much can go wrong in a controlled environment, or can it? Accidents occur in office spaces as well, as workers can get injured and even killed. In order to minimize the risk your employees take every day, they should be well prepared. For starters, take these 5 simple steps to ensure that workers are safe at all times.
Proper Machine Handling
Whether it’s a printing press or a simple office printer, your workers are going to come into contact with machines and devices of various kinds. These machines should be fully operational and certified, which is achieved by regular maintenance checks. This goes for desktop computers as well. They should not have rust or pointy edges and all the guards that might be installed on them should be in place. Ask your workers to make frequent visual checks and report immediately if they notice that something is wrong. Furthermore, they should all know how to properly operate them. No training is needed on how to use a fax machine, but if you have a more complex piece of machinery, like a plotter, then additional training might be necessary.
Once a problem occurs, it is essential to react fast. If a co-worker gets injured, other employing need to know the basics of first aid before the ambulance arrives. You can send them to a crash course in medical training specially designed for office workers. More importantly, you need to stock the office space with specialized first aid kits that will contain all the necessary material, from bandages to saline. Everybody should know how to use them and they should get used for the slightest of injuries, including even small paper cuts. You are responsible for the health and safety of your employees while they are on the premises of the company they work for.
Dealing with installations
The biggest danger lurking in an office isn’t going to be kinetic energy, but electricity. Everything runs on it, so there are numerous outlets throughout the entire office. This means that all employees interact with electricity every day, even if they only switch the lights on and off. Furthermore, not everything revolves around work-related hardware; an office fire can easily start from the kitchen. That is why it is important to take care of every detail, which means that appliance and oven repair and maintenance should be top priority. It would be really bad if the entire business burned down because of a malfunctioning electric kettle.
Ducting and Ventilation
One thing that you have to realize is that offices aren’t natural spaces, so there will be no draft in them. Your employees need a lot of fresh air to work and think clearly, so offices should exclusively be non-smoking zones. Air should circulate around the office at all time and the best way to achieve this is by installing a proper industrial ducting system. It will pump in fresh air all the while taking out stale air that is detrimental to human health. You want your employees to have plenty of oxygen so they don’t get drowsy at work. If the office is small, even an open window can do the trick sometimes, but make sure that there is some sort of ventilation in the workspace.
What to Do In Case of an Emergency
By failing to prepare, we prepare to fail. No matter how hard to try to prevent them, accidents, minor and major, are going to happen at some point. That is why it is essential that your employees know how to behave in case of an emergency. These procedures apply in case of a fire or a worker injury, so every worker has to know what his or her particular role is. For most, a fire means that they have to evacuate the building quickly and orderly. Make sure the exit signs are clearly marked so they will know how to get to the designated assembly point outside. Practice makes it perfect, so make sure you have fire and other emergency drills at least once a year.
Office safety is an important issue that is more important than productivity. Actually, your company is likely to experience a fall in productivity if the level of office safety drops. Employees simply don’t want to give their best in a space where they feel unsafe. Apply all the preventive measures we described here to have an office free of danger for the employees.
Bio: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.