Conversations around workplace safety often make us think of industrial, construction or commercial places of business. However, there are many hazards in the typical office, and most of them go overlooked.
Each year, tens of thousands of office employees are affected by costly injuries or health conditions they acquired on the job. Although the potential for injury in an office may not be as high as on a factory floor, safety strategies proven to be effective in manufacturing and industrial settings are just as useful in the office.
Below are the top 10 overlooked office hazards your company should be addressing:
1) Slip, Trip or Fall Hazards
Office workers who have to access items on high shelves should use stepstools or stepladders. Exposed wiring ought to be shielded so feet don’t become entangled. The absorbent mats at entrance ways can keep people from tracking in rain and snow, which make for slippery surfaces.
When workers aren’t paying attention to where they are walking, they are at high risk for running into office clutter or even other employees. Good housekeeping and the use of convex mirrors at blind corners can help address collision hazards.
3) Damaged Equipment and Furniture
Equipment and furniture that falls into disrepair can become a serious safety hazard. If office equipment or furniture breaks down to the point of becoming unstable, it needs to be replaced.
4) High Stacks
Stacks of boxes or other materials are prone to falling and striking someone. Stacking materials also increases the odds a worker will try to get materials off the top of the stack incorrectly, causing injury.
5) Poor Ergonomics
Most office jobs involve a lot of typing and mouse manipulation while seated in a chair for long hours. Over the course of time, poor posture and repetitive motions can cause significant strain on the body. Investing in proper ergonomics can help to reduce these injuries.
6) Bad Lighting
In addition to making it more difficult to see hazards, bad lighting can play a role in employees developing vision issues like eyestrain and related headaches. If left unaddressed, bad lighting can lead to permanent vision impairment.
Although the noise levels in a typical office aren’t loud enough to damage hearing, irritating noise can increase stress and lower worker morale. Acoustic tile and cubicle walls can significantly reduce this hazard.
8) Fire Hazards
The typical office contains many materials that are very combustible, and some materials emit toxic fumes while burning. Regular inspections by management and safety personnel can identify fire hazards and mitigate them where possible.
9) Lack of Safe Egress
In case there is an emergency, employees must be capable of exiting the office quickly and safely. Exits and escape routes should never become blocked by furniture or objects. Emergency routes and exits should also be clearly indicated with signage.
10) Poor Ventilation
Offices can be cramped workspaces with poor ventilation. This environment can increase exposure to any airborne toxic materials and germs. Proper ventilation can significantly reduce this hazard.
Hire Talented Candidates With the Help of NSC!
At NSC, we are constantly striving to reduce on-the-job injuries and their related costs for our clients. Please contact us today to find out how one of our staffing solutions can help make your company safer.