The biggest office safety risks
10 Jul 2018
The office is a surprisingly hazardous place to work; there are a number of hazards that can come from working in an office job, some of which can leave lasting effects on employees.
Office managers have become increasingly aware of office safety issues, and most do a good job of maintaining a hazard-free workplace. However, not all offices are fit for purpose. To keep an office safe, employers need to be aware of the potential safety issues, so that they can monitor and prevent them.
Here are some of the biggest office safety risks:
Contagious illness spread by sick workers
Any work environment in which employees work together closely is at risk of a contagious illness spreading through the workforce. If one worker catches a contagious illness, such as the flu, the other workers in the office are at risk of catching it also.
It is important that ill workers are sent home and given time to recover. An ill worker is likely to hamper productivity, and if they aren’t given time off, the whole workforce could become infected. Not only would this be bad for health and efficiency, but really damaging to employee morale and corporate reputation.
The nature of office jobs means that workers are often required to do the same things day in, day out. Many sit at their desks upwards, for up to 7 hours a day, which without breaks, may lead to repetitive strain injuries, or in extreme cases, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.
As the effects of these develop over time, they can be hard to notice, which can allow them to get worse if action isn’t taken. It is important that workers maintain good posture at their desks, and take regular breaks to get out of their seat and have a quick walk around the office.
Faulty wiring, overloaded or overheated power outputs and incorrect fuses are just some of the electrical hazards office workers may face if the correct safety measures aren’t taken. Electrical hazards can be seriously dangerous, and can inflict serious injuries to workers depending on the severity of the issue. So, it’s important that the necessary steps are taken to ensure all of the electrical equipment at the office is safe to use.
All electrical equipment should be checked and installed by qualified professionals, and should be inspected on a regular basis for safety issues. Employees should also be trained in electrical safety, so that they know how to use electrical equipment correctly and how to spot and prevent electrical hazards from occurring. Employers are required to do this under the 1989 electricity at work regulations.
Poor lighting/eye strain
Employers need to provide appropriately lit workspaces, as bad lighting in the workplace can cause a number of problems. In poorly lit areas, workers are at risk of bumping into or tripping over items they can’t see.
Working in poorly lit areas for an extended time period can lead to headaches, eye strain, and impaired vision if the issue goes unresolved. Some studies have even shown that poor lighting can increase worker stress, impacting their productivity.