Safety in the Office

health and safety Jan 28, 2016

Office health and safety should be one of the most important issues business owners should be thinking about. At the very least, you should be taking health & safety levels in your office seriously, doing everything you can to keep them high. It’s easy for new business owners to miss the importance of health and safety. It’s not just a moral obligation. This decision could save your company millions.

Last year businesses in America, the UK and Australia were inundated with accidental injury claims. This could have been avoided if business owners had been keeping proper checks on health and safety on their premises. For instance, it’s absolutely essential that you have the right health and safety staff members hired in your business.

Here are a few other measures you can put in place to help protect your business from these issues.


Check For Hazards

Every morning, either you or a member of your staff should be looking around the office for signs of potential hazards. A hazard could be anything from a flickering light in a dimly lit stairwell to loose wires on the floor. It’s worth pointing out the mistake that many business owners make here. They think if they are renting their business premises they’re not responsible for these health and safety issues. Therefore, it’s important to learn a lesson before we continue.  If you are renting a commercial property you will be responsible for health and safety. Most landlords will ensure legal blame is shifted onto your shoulders through contracts you signed. It is you who will be held accountable if someone is injured.  Again, this could cost your business or even you personally, a fortune.

But, it’s not enough to just check for hazards regularly because the likelihood is one will arise after you’ve completed the check. That’s why you should also make sure that your employees know what to do when they see a hazard and what they should be looking for. For instance, if an employee notices a wet floor they shouldn’t wait for someone else to sort it. Instead, they should find a sign and put it down themselves and either clean up or organise the cleaning of the floor asap.

Common hazards in an office environment:-

  • Poor Housekeeping
    • Boxes on the floor
    • Electrical cords run along the floor or in pathways
  • Poor Ergonomics
    • Seats not suitable for people to sit for long periods of time
    • Desks set at incorrect levels
  • Electricity
    • Poorly maintained electrical cords
    • Electrical items near water / liquards
  • Office Equipment
    • Paper shredders
  • Manual Handling
    • Lifting and carrying heavy boxes

Arrange Safety Inspections

You should also be arranging official safety inspections of your premises. Fire safety testing is an absolute must and is easy to arrange online. Through fire safety, all your appliances used in the event of a fire will be thoroughly tested. This includes your extinguishers, blankets and smoke alarms. If any of these appliances or items failed in the event of an emergency, the situation would be far worse.

Electrical Test and Tagging of equipment and electrical cords should be completed regularly by an accredited provider.

Ensure evacuation plans are current an visible to all visitors and staff in the building and ensuring emergency exists are not blocked or used as storage areas.

Legal Advice

As the owner of a business it’s crucial that you get regular advice from a lawyer about new health and safety laws. You need to know how they could affect your company and what you should be doing to keep up to date with regulations. Most business owners will not be afford to hire full time legal assistance. Instead, they use an outsourcing service. They cut the cost while still ensuring their business is protected.

If you take this advice you can guarantee your business will be fully protected this year.