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Health & Safety in the workplace

Sep 05, 2016

Health and Safety is becoming more important in the workplace and it is vital that everyone involved in the business understands its value and how to identify potential risks.

We’ve worked on a list of helpful tips to show how you can reduce these risks, resulting in a safer working environment for everyone.

Being aware of your surroundings

Take a look at your colleagues and current office environment. Some people are sitting at their desks, others are walking around the office, and some may even be rushing to a meeting. How many people are looking at where they are actually going? Without knowing, the smallest change of events could alter their day and cause an accident.

Without thinking, people can get so caught up with their task in hand, that they might not notice a chair pop out when someone gets up from their seat. A collision is common in the workplace. Keep your eyes open for trip hazards as this is a common cause of accidents in the work place.

Waste disposal

The build-up of waste not only makes your desk and surroundings untidy, but can cause a major fire hazard. The best way to keep the risks low is to regularly tidy your desk. Remove old post it notes and unnecessary paperwork that is no longer required. Keep relevant documents filed away and off your desk space. Also be aware of bags or larger items kept under desks. You’ll be surprised how these can creep out of your personal space potentially causing trouble for your colleagues.

Power sockets

Power sockets can also be a large fire hazard if too many plugs are used in one socket. Using a single adaptor with multiple sockets is a bad idea, and easily has the potential to cause a fire. Instead, use an extension lead with multiple separate sockets. When using this equipment, all wires should be completely removed from walking areas or with a clear warning sign for staff if this cannot be tidied carefully with wire clips.

Spillages

From the early hours of the morning to the close of play each day, many staff members like to drink cups of tea, coffee and cold drinks. Throughout the day there are bound to be spillages and these cause high safety risks if not cleaned up straight away not to mention severe burns from hot drinks if spilled onto someone.

Trips and slips are one of the most common workplace accidents, simply because people do not think about the consequences of not cleaning up after themselves and not using a wet floor sign where appropriate. When a liquid is spilt you must think about the well being of your colleagues and clean up your mess immediately. If you require paper towels or equipment to clean up this mess ask a colleague to monitor the spillage while you get the cleaning materials.

Allergies

On occasion it is possible for an employee to be allergic to certain food or products. It is important that these are identified immediately and ensure that all other members of staff are aware of these allergies. A severe nut allergy, for example, can put some people in the hospital with extreme symptoms; therefore staff must be advised not to bring peanuts of any kind into the office for any reason.

Journey into work

It’s not only during work you need to be aware of health and safety risks but also on your journey to and from your building. If you are travelling by car drive sensibly and inform your manager ahead of time if you are running late. Ensure that you leave plenty of time to get to work however you get there. Buses and trains can be delayed and traffic can affect most journeys. Take a look at the traffic conditions before you leave and look at alternate routes.

Your personal work station

We sit at our desks at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and without the proper work station setup we can cause rather severe injuries to our entire body. The below points can help keep your body happy when working in an office environment:

      • Ensure that your computer monitor is heightened to eye level
      • If you require a foot rest make sure one is ordered for you
      • Always take regular breaks away from your screen
      • Sit up straight and don’t slouch
      • Keep the back of your seat upright at a comfortable level
      • Check the height of your seat is at a comfortable level. Your forearms should be resting on the desk with your hands comfortably accessible to the keyboard
      • If you work at a computer all day your company may offer contributions to eye sight tests and glasses, if required. It is worth checking your company policies on what they can offer.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll keep your office safe and low risk. Discussing this information with your colleagues and peers to help spread the word and raise awareness about safety in the workplace.