Is Your Office Safe? Some Potential Office Safety Hazards
When most of us give thought to workplace safety and avoiding job-related injuries, very rarely do we ever consider the office environment as a potentially unsafe setting. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and there are a number of practices and hazards that can lead to office accidents. In fact, employers are starting to stress office safety training in growing numbers. Slips and falls and dangerous objects are all potential causes of injury.
A wet floor hazard is always an accident waiting to happen. Whether it’s from a spilled drink or from a recent mopping, slipping and falling on wet surfaces can cause significant injury that ranges from bruising to broken bones. Wet floors should be addressed immediately with the placement of appropriate signs and by alerting co-workers until the area is dry. Even a recently used wet umbrella on a floor can be a potential danger. The last thing a business needs is an employee asking how to go about making a spinal injury claim after falling on a slippery surface.
There can also be hidden electrical safety concerns. It’s essential for offices to have their equipment checked regularly for loose, non-functioning and worn out electrical cords and outlets. Electrical circuits and plug-in devices must be approved and safe for office use. Any damaged component needs to be replaced or repaired immediately. A compromised electrical cord that is exposed to any form of liquid can lead to short-circuiting and possible personal injury.
Every office should also practice fire safety precautions. Some employers go so far as to have routine evacuation drills on an unannounced basis to ensure that office personnel stay familiar with fire evacuation plans. Office doors and emergency exits must remain obstruction-free at all times. Some jurisdictions require that all rooms have visible fire extinguishers and use smoke detectors.
In order to avoid tripping hazards, office work areas must maintain walkways that are clear of protruding objects. Rugs and carpeting should be completely flat and not bunched up in places. Cables and wires can likewise cause tripping accidents if not properly secured. Not only can a loose cable create a dangerous situation, if tripped on they can easily be ripped from the wall leading to extensive damage. Also, there should be a policy of not running on the premises. You never know just who might be coming around the corner.
Even something as innocuous as a filing cabinet is a potential problem. Leaving cabinet drawers open after use can be hazardous for someone else walking by. When storing items other than files in the cabinet, be sure and put heavier items in bottom drawers so that the cabinet doesn’t become too top-heavy. This lessens the chance of a filing cabinet tipping over and falling on someone’s foot.
Author Bio – Jonathan Gordon is a freelance copywriter who writes for a variety of websites, including a number of injury and medical negligence solicitors.