Office Safety 101

Office Safety 101

Workers’ compensation claims and issues do not always pertain specifically to construction, manufacturing, or other manual labor jobs. Office safety is just as important as that of construction workers. Here are some common office safety issues and ways to prevent them.

Slips, Trips, and Falls. One of the most common office setting injuries are slips, trips, and falls. Spills, wet floors, cords, uneven or loose flooring, and clutter are just a few of the culprits in slips, trips, and falls injuries. To combat slips, maintaining proper cleaning processes and methods for spills, wet floors, and other flooring issues to reduce slips, trips, and falls. For example, during winter months, tending to ice- and snow-covered pathways and nonslip runners can reduce wet floors and opportunities for such incidents.

Fire Safety. Office fires contributed to $643 million in property damage in 2012.[1] Fire prevention procedures should be in place, such as inspecting power cords for exposed wires or other damage, limit outlets, and avoiding combustible appliances like coffeemakers, space heaters, and candles. It is important that all employees and supervisors are aware of fire evacuations and that office maps of such evacuation paths are available to all employees. Be sure that emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and fire alarms are not blocked or locked should an emergency arise. Investing in sprinkler systems and safety inspections could save you money should a fire occur.

Indoor Air Quality. Occupational asthma, respiratory disorders, chemical sensitivity and allergies are results or worsened due to poor indoor air quality. Most times, poor ventilation, overcrowding, water damage or mold, and poor cleaning are culprits of unsanitary, poor indoor air quality. Confirming proper cleaning products and processes are used, functioning ventilation, and safety inspections can reduce indoor air quality issues.

Ergonomics. Office positions typically require sitting at a computer and repetitive motions, which contribute to ergonomic strains and related injuries. Adjustable chairs, desks, keyboards, and the like can help reduce the stress of repetitive motions, stagnant positions, and other factors that can contribute to the pains of an office job. Eye strains are also a common issue with office jobs. Ensuring proper and adequate lighting is available and taking breaks from staring at a computer monitor are all helpful to reducing eye strain. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also recommends sitting straight with your feet firmly on the ground, maintaining a relaxed, neutral posture, and using ergonomic friendly keyboards and mousepads.

There are plenty more office hazards that can result in workers’ compensation, but these are the most common. Don’t wait until something happens. Have a plan in place to address safety hazards and how to prevent them from happening. If you’d like to remain compliant and develop ways to prevent office injuries, please contact Human Capital. We value the safety of workers and have a team of experts who can provide full-service solutions.

[1] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/risk-management/pages/common-office-hazards.aspx