When people think of workplace safety, an office environment isn’t the first workplace they picture. But serious accidents and injuries occur in almost any setting, including offices. In fact, the leading types of office injuries1 result from common accidents like trips and falls, strains, falling objects, striking against objects and being stuck between objects.
To help ensure your company is handling office safety properly, here are some key areas to examine during National Safety Month.
Workspaces that are designed with ergonomic principles in mind can help lessen the risk of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders2 related to overuse of specific muscles, poor posture, and repetitive tasks. It involves ensuring that employees have access to the right tools to perform their duties while taking their physical capabilities, limitations and design into mind.
For example, office workers need to make sure their computer screen height and the location of their keyboard support proper posture, and their desks and chairs are at the correct height based on their size. By making efforts in these areas, a business can reduce physical stress3 and lower the risk of common injuries to the hands, wrists, back, neck and more.
Allowing workers to take regular breaks from the desk duties can also support proper ergonomics. Taking frequent stretch breaks4 or stopping to take a quick walk can alleviate physical strains due to maintaining a single position for a long period.
Trips and Falls
Over 8 million hospital emergency room5 visits are due to injuries sustained during a fall, and offices can present a range of hazards that can lead to these injuries. For example, boxes kept on the floor in walkways or drawers left open in desk areas can all increase the risks of a trip or fall accident. Similarly, spills in the breakroom or computer cords dangling into walkways can also create hazards.
To help lower the likelihood of such accidents, it is important to keep all walkways clear and manage spills quickly. Make sure wet floors have proper signage and that cords don’t cross into walking paths whenever possible.
Extension Cords and Cord Placement
Chaining together multiple extension cords, allowing wires to run under rugs or plugging too many devices into a single outlet or power strip can all increase the chance of fire in an office setting. In most cases, extension cords should be avoided whenever possible, and if additional reach is required, it is best to only use a single extension cord with a proper power rating.
Additionally, don’t run cords under rugs, especially in walkways. Over time, the protective coating around the wires can become damaged, and if they are out of sight, it may not be noticed until it is too late.
Every workplace should have emergency procedures in place that dictate how employees should act should the unexpected occur. Knowing how to evacuate the building during events like fires and earthquakes can help make sure everyone can leave the property safely, and understanding who to contact during an emergency can be critical to the health and welfare of everyone in the office.
Make sure your emergency procedures are up to date and all employees receive regular training on areas of safety. That way, you can lessen the likelihood that an accident or emergency causes harm to your staff.
Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Atlanta
If you are looking for new employees to join your team, the professionals at Employ Partners have the expertise to assist. Contact us today for more information on working with a leader in staffing services in Atlanta.
1 – http://hr.commerce.gov/Employees/WorkLifeIssues/DEV01_006467
2 – https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ergonomics/
3 – http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/office-ergonomics-using-ergonomics-at-the-workstation-to-prevent-injury#1
4 – http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-to-stretch#1
5 – https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/