Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Creating a Safe Office Environment with Quality Furnishings and Fittings

It has been said, that many accidents happen in the home, but we spend more than 8 hours a day in the work place, and it seems only logical, that the office environment be a safe place.

There are many accidents in the work place every year.  The most frequent types of work place injury are due to falls, tripping and strains from over-extending and over-exertion.  In addition, there are many accidents that occur in the workplace that are due to electrical or plumbing faults.
Compared to factories and outside work, offices are a contained environment that can usually be controlled and accidents can be minimized. With just a bit of care, many office falls and slips can be avoided.  We have listed a few tips to make an office a safer environment for workers and visitors.

1.    Close drawers completely when not in use.
2.    While seated, avoid twisting and leaning backwards.
3.    Secure electrical wires that are in walkways.
4.    Clean up spills right away.
5.    Wear shoes that have non-slip soles
6.    Use proper step stools to reach high places.
7.    Add carpeting where possible.

If you find yourself falling, try to scrunch your body within yourself, and roll rather than reaching arms outward (which may be instinctive).  This position will help your body absorb the impact better, and help you avoid a potentially bad injury.

Electrical hazards within the workplace can happen often, if wiring is faulty, installed incorrectly, or not maintained properly.  Below, we have listed some precautions to take, to minimize electrical accidents in the workplace.

1.    Avoid using extension cords.
2.    Use only office equipment that has been tested, and approved by reputable laboratories.
3.    Never handle wires or electrical equipment when your hands are wet.
4.    Unplug, by holding the plug, not yanking the cord.
5.    Make sure that all office equipment is “grounded” properly and well insulated.
6.    Do not cover power cords with rugs, mats or carpeting.
7.    Shutdown and disconnect equipment from the power source before repairs or maintenance services are conducted. It’s also wise to shut down any equipment that doesn’t need to be left on, when the office is vacated at night as this will reduce the risk of fire.

Photocopy machines are a standard piece of equipment in most offices, but when an office is not well-ventilated, it can be a hazardous source of air pollution, causing employees to become ill.  Besides placing this type of machine in a well-ventilated area, away from employees, some other precautions will include:

1.    Prevent chemical emissions, by having the copy machine routinely serviced.
2.    Dispose of toner waste properly and immediately.
3.    Keep the document cover of the machine closed.
4.    Use gloves while changing toner, and avoid touching other photocopying chemicals with bare hands.

When individuals go to work, they rarely think about safety issues, but by developing good habits, it is easy to have a safe office environment.  Such as, do not overstock shelves, have a step stool handy, keep restrooms clean and stocked, with plenty of towels and antibacterial soap, and encourage at least one employee, to be trained in CPR and first aid.