The office is one of the safer places to be when compared to other workplaces like a construction site. With that said, accidents do happen, and other workplace incidents can create a hazard for employees even in a seemingly safer environment filled with cubicles and private offices. You might be surprised to learn that in 2008, 80,410 U.S. workers had at work injuries in private companies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rather than being an American problem, the common occurrence of incidents in Canadian companies isn’t likely to be much better either.
Here are four ways to make the office safer for employees.
Falling down and getting injured is the number one way that office workers get hurt. Whether they slipped on a wet floor, tripped up over a draw that was left pulled out or fell down a flight of steps, it does happen an alarming number of times every year. However, making employees aware of the dangers reduces the number of accidents.
Reducing clutter limits the things that are out and able to be tripped on. This might be an electrical extension power cord that’s uncovered, boxes left in the walkway or something left somewhere temporarily until it can be moved. Reaching up without the use of a ladder is another common cause of an unintended fall in the workplace. Changing slippery flooring to safer ones is also an excellent idea.
Make Sure Safety Equipment is Installed
One of the worst things to happen in an office building is a fire breaking out. Fires can spread quickly, can block the exits from their heat and cause a loss of vision due to the smoke that develops quickly. For this reason, it’s important to have one of the better sprinkler systems installed to ensure that should the worst happen, the fire can be contained to allow time for the employees to exit the building safely. Indeed, the company has a duty of care to the employees, so having a sprinkler system demonstrates that the business took employee safety seriously.
Companies require workers to often use the computer for many hours of the day. Tapping on the keyboard, moving the mouse and sitting in the office chair at their desk. Each of these elements can create future problems with workplace health claims for repetitive strain injury and bad backs. Businesses also have the added disruption of absenteeism, unpredictable task completion and in some cases the cost of paying for employee medical treatment that can continue for months or longer.
Buying ergonomic adjustable chairs, comfortable keyboards and a mouse is the first step. Employees need training how to adjust their chair to suit their size and the height of the desk. The mouse must be on the same level as the keyboard, not with the keyboard in a keyboard tray and the mouse up on the desk at a different height level. Ergonomic consultants are often the best way to train staff initially.
A safer office environment makes employees feel more comfortable. Given the number of hours that each worker spends in the office environment, making it a safe place to come during the weekday is an excellent first step to improving worker retention and satisfaction on the job