Every workplace needs to be assessed for health and safety hazards, no matter how seemingly safe from harm the environment may seem. Even a simple office space with cubicles, desks and chairs has its dangers, they’re just less obvious and that makes them all the more hazardous. Below are a few not so obvious hazards to watch out for:
Boxes, files and various items piled in walkways can create a tripping hazard. Be certain that all materials are safely stored in their proper location to prevent build-up of clutter in walkways. Further, in addition to posing an electrical hazard, stretching cords across walkways or under rugs creates a tripping hazard, so ensure all cords are properly secured and covered.
File cabinets with too many fully extended drawers could tip over if they are not secured. Open drawers on desks and file cabinets pose a tripping hazard, so be sure to always completely close drawers when not in use. Large stacks of materials and heavy equipment can cause major injuries if they are knocked over. Store heavy objects close to the floor, and make sure the capacity of shelves or storage units should never be exceeded.
Blind corners in hallways and around cubicle walls can be a collision risk. Install convex mirrors in blind spots to prevent accidents, especially when hot coffee is involved!
Desk and computer setup – Adjustability is the key!
Staff working in an office environment spend the majority of the day sitting down which can cause long term strains and injuries due to ergonomics hazards can be difficult to detect. Level keyboard and mouse along with screen, chair and desk height alignment will make for fewer back, neck and eye strains. Also encourage employees to get up and out of the office for a walk!
Dim the lights and use task lamps
Florescent lights in office buildings often are too bright for optimal vision – light that is at about half-normal office levels is recommended. This can be achieved by removing some bulbs from overhead fixtures. If more light is needed for a particular task, individual task lamps rather than increasing overall lighting.