Health and Safety in the Office
The office environment is often looked at as a safe working environment. Most offices are relatively safe when compared to maybe a construction site, but there is no less need to give priority to health and safety in the office. Unlike some other work environments such as a restaurant kitchen, or construction site where many of the dangers are obvious, the office has many hidden dangers that can pose many risks of injury or damage to health.
What are the risks of the Office Environment?
Office environments often have a lot of less obvious threats to look out for, however it is still important to read and understand the health and safety policy provided by your employer. Some of the more common hazards in an office to look out for are:
- Trailing wires.
- Sharp desk edges.
- Boxes left in gangways.
- Incorrect storage of files.
- Beverage spillages.
Health and Safety responsibilities in the Office
Both employer and employee have a responsibility for the health and safety in the office. Employers are governed by certain regulations and they need to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that everyone can work in a safe environment. This will include things like providing adequate storage space, securing trailing computer cables so that they do not pose a trip hazard, and providing any equipment needed in order for the employee to work comfortably and safely in their workspace.
Employee’s responsibilities are to maintain the health and safety in the office environment. This can be done by simply taking reasonable care throughout the day. This means things like not leaving boxes discarded in gangways, not propping open fire doors or tampering with safety equipment, and generally being vigilant to any potential hazards around the office.
The company’s health and safety policy is usually a good guide for helping you to carry out your health and safety responsibilities in the office.