Safety hazards are obvious on worksites where strenuous manual labor and heavy equipment are operating side by side. What isn’t so apparent, however, is the many safety hazards that exist within an office setting. Since most of the tasks completed are done so in a climate-controlled environment from a comfortable chair, most people assume working in Commercial Space is perfectly safe.
The reality is that thousands of injuries occur in office environments each year. Many of them could have been prevented had employers and workers realized the risks and taken measures to reduce them. Below are several crucial office safety tips to help you make your office a safer place to be.
1. Reduce Fire Risk with a Routine Fire Assessment
The threat of fire within an office setting is a real concern. Numerous items of office equipment, extension cords, and overloaded outlets can spell disaster. To reduce the risk of fire in your office, be sure to schedule an assessment with a commercial electrician who will identify and correct any issues that could cause fire or electrocution.
2. Take Fall Prevention Very Seriously
According to the CDC, a 2014 published report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites more than 250,000 workers missed at least one day of work due to injuries sustained from falls. While falls in the construction industry are more prevalent, office workers are nearly 2.5 times more likely be injured in a fall than any other cause.
When working in an office setting, look out for these fall hazards:
- Wet floors
- Sitting on unstable chairs
- Loose carpeting, extension cords, open file drawers, or any other object that may cause tripping
- Standing on chairs to reach objects up high
- Poor lighting/visibility
3. Implement Ergonomically-Correct Practices
OSHA cites a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that in 2013, musculoskeletal disorders were responsible for 33 percent of all work-related injuries. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries sustained due to things such as incorrect posture, lifting, bending, reaching incorrectly, and repetitive motions.
MSD injuries are preventable by implementing ergonomics. In other words, fitting the job to the employee. Doing so reduces the physical stress placed on the body, increases productivity, and reduces the number of MDS injuries altogether.
4. Ensure Good Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality inside an office building can lead to numerous respiratory issues. It’s a real concern because exposure over an extended period can lead to permanent damage. Among the leading culprits of poor indoor air quality are:
- Office equipment emissions – gases and noxious fumes
- Poor ventilation – inadequate air circulation
- Poor thermal conditions – too hot or too cold
- Too little or too much humidity
- Poor layout of the office space – air can’t circulate well
- Office renovations – dust, paint, carpeting and other items that can lessen air quality