As workplaces go, you wouldn’t think an office is somewhere where lots of health and safety hazards are present, but the National Safety Council reveals that employees are 2.5 times more likely to suffer a fall in an office setting than anywhere else.

An office space can pose a surprising amount of hazards, with falls being the most common source of injury at work. Here are some ways to ensure your office is as safe as possible, to keep injuries – and absences - at a minimum.

Pathways

Firstly, keep pathways safe by clearing clutter. A chair or table leg sticking out, or electrical wires and cords being messy can cause employees to trip and fall.

Unorganised desks stacked with paper which could fall onto the ground aren’t safe and can cause passers-by to slip, as well as leave you unorganised and unproductive when documents get lost.

Close drawers or cupboards which may disrupt pathways too, to ensure the trip hazard is erased. When drawers are left open, it can also cause imbalance in heavy filing cabinets which may fall over and injure employees, so ensure when not in use, drawers are shut.

Ensure everything is in its place, wires are tidy and out-of-sight and organising files or shelves are provided to ensure clutter is kept to a minimum and pathways are kept clear and safe.

Lines of Vision

Maintain clear lines of vision too, as blind corners can cause collisions with employees potentially rushing about to a meeting etc. If either one of you is holding a freshly-made coffee during the collision, that burning sensation and stained shirt will make it all the more dangerous – and embarrassing.

To reduce the risk of being burnt by coffee and head-butted by Pam from Accounting, install mirrors on walls near blind corners or incorporate glass or transparent materials into design for better visibility.

Floors

The type of floor also pays a huge part in the safety of the office. If you’re looking for sleek marble tiles to portray a fancy corporate appearance, beware that when wet, it can cause people to slip and fall. Many offices choose hard floor due to its convenience for cleaning, but ensure that after being cleaned, lay out clear signs warning employees to take extra care. Provide carpet mats in doorways to allow people to dry their feet is the weather is rainy.

Facilities

Furthermore, ensure employees have access to appropriate facilities to reduce accidents. For example, when reaching for high shelves full of files, ensure a safe-to-use step is available so employees aren’t forced to improvise and stand on unstable wheeled chairs.

A lot of these tips are common sense, but things like general tidiness and pathways can be overlooked, causing mess, injury and disorganisation. Basic fire safety is also extremely important in an office too, read our in-depth advice about that here.


Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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