Any working environment has its own potential dangers, some more than others. However, even the areas that would at first appear to be the safest, could pose very real dangers to those who work within. The humble office might not appear to be the most threatening of environments, but each year, thousands of accidents take place within offices around the world. Workers and employees alike must be aware of the dangers that exist, in order to avoid them.
Here are some examples of dangers that regularly cause accidents and advice how they can be avoided.
Slips and Trips
The office is often rife with loose wires and cables, which unless contained neatly and out of harm’s way, can cause slips and trips, resulting in injury. Wires should be hidden behind desks and against the wall, and well out of the way of walkways. If there is no avoiding having wires in precarious positions, appropriate warnings should be in place.
In many offices, stationary supplies are delivered regularly. Items such as copy paper and other regular office items can be heavy in weight, and unless lifted correctly, can cause back and arm injuries. The correct method of lifting is to stand with feet at shoulder width and to bend with the knees and hips – not the torso. Of course, if the item is too heavy, you should seek other methods of moving it.
Workstation Ergonomics Is Crucial
Office workers tend to be sat at their workstations for a large proportion of the working day. As such, it is of paramount importance that your station fits your body. It is important to make sure that your chair allows you to sit in a position that doesn’t cause injury to the spine, and your computer screen should be positioned in a fashion that doesn’t cause muscle strain. There are several other features of the workstation that need to be considered. If long periods in the workspace cause discomfort, this could cause some serious damage, and te issue should be addressed.
Office Equipment Can Be Dangerous
Office equipment, such as staplers, paper shredders, scissors or laminators can be extremely dangerous if used incorrectly. Always follow the safety instructions and the correct operation procedures, and remain focussed when using dangerous equipment. Even if you use the equipment regularly, one lapse of concentration could result in injury.
This post was provided by John Phillipson – a health and safety training expert from the UK.