Yes, that’s right, most people think that working in an office is a pretty cushy job, but have you ever looked around? There are potential accidents just waiting to happen, when you really check it out!
As a person who has worked in offices all my life, I think back to several things that I did that could have resulted in injury………..like, having a file cabinet tip over on me because it was top heavy and I was working out of the bottom drawer. Or not using the correct posture when lifting heavy boxes, my back still hurts! I’ve had many coworkers trip over a low file drawer that got left out. (Once, I witnessed an engineer set fire to a wastebasket he was sitting on while talking to his secretary, dropping ashes from his pipe into the trash. Boy, did he get a hotseat!)
There are many simple things that can be done and don’t require a lot of extra time to keep our office employees safe. Also, office workers should pitch in and report any potential risk hazard to their supervisor, whether it’s a slippery floor, too-dark area, or electrical problem, in order for it to be taken care of before someone gets hurt.
Here are several questions regarding office safety, and we want you to see how many apply to your office:
- Are your file cabinets top heavy?
- Are boxes, papers and books stored safely on top of files?
- Are lights turned on in dark work areas?
- Are there broken lights?
- Are drawers left open on desks and file cabinets?
- Do people tilt back in their chairs?
- Are there signs to watch your step at elevators?
- Are spills cleaned up promptly?
- Do you see people standing on their chairs, desktops, to reach something high, rather than use a step stool?
- Do electric cords stretch across floor?
- Are power strips used correctly?
- Are fire exits clearly marked, and are employees familiar with them?
- Is there enough space under desk or workstation for employee to take cover in an emergency?
- Are fire drills conducted regularly?
- Are coffee makers, griddles, heating elements, safely placed and inspected on a regular basis?
- Are storage areas clean and neat?
- Are handrails and stairways well lighted?
- Does your office have a good housekeeping program?
- Do employees leave open food, i.e., cookies, crackers, in their desk?
- Is the floor or carpet in bad condition? Uneven floors can be fall hazards.
- Do people leave wastebaskets or boxes in walkways?
- Do you see persons wearing dangling jewelry or floppy clothing while running a shredder? Guys with ties shouldn’t try this.
We know part of your answers will be no and some yes, but hopefully they apply in a way that shows you have a safe office! Typically, though, we all need to pitch in and keep our workspace clean, neat and safe for our fellow workers. Try placing safety posters that relate to the work being done in each area to convey a good safety theme. Posters work wonders!