Why risk assessments are vital in an office
Even the relatively safe environment of an office can hide potential risks to employees. Trips and electrical equipment can all contribute to the dangers which is why a risk assessment is key to meeting the standards set out by the Health and Safety Executive.
Minimising risk and documenting what you find is required by all businesses. It helps employers create procedures to lower or eliminate the risks all together. It’s also a great way to inform training and design new policies.
Regular in-house inspections of the premises will help you observe and evaluate potential risks that you might not know they are there. Some of the greatest risks in an office environment are trips and falls. These cause around 30% of workplace injuries, according to the HSE. That’s why it’s important to keep areas tidy and clear of obstructions. Also, check loose wires and flooring. Cables should be secure or taped in place and spillages should be cleaned up straight away.
Muscular strains and poor posture while working at a computer screen are also high on the list. These ergonomic injuries can be prevented with the right equipment from well-designed chairs and desks to level floors. An assessment evaluating these potential hazards can help you identify and correct them.
It’s important to listen to staff and check previous reports to see if you can spot a pattern and reduce or control it better.
Fire safety is also paramount in offices. You can ask external specialist teams to assess and advise you on practices to improves standards and create an evacuation policy. The key things to remember are not to overload power outlets, check if cables are in good condition and monitor electrical equipment. Providing regular health & safety and fire awareness trainings to your staff it’s also important, as you will be one step closer to preventing potential risks, as they will be trained to deal with possible situations.
Once you’ve identified and reported your hazards, regular reviews will keep the work place up to date. While staff training makes sure everyone knows how to maintain your high standards of Health Safety.