Office Safety 101: Keeping the Workplace Hazard-Free

Workplace safety is a big focus for most companies, in large part because accidents can be very costly to a business. Each injury or accident can lead to increased insurance costs, lowered productivity and a potential lawsuit, so it’s no surprise that most business owners want to create the safest working environment possible. Many workplace accidents are avoidable; better accident prevention can always reduce the risk of something going wrong.

Even with an office safety plan in place, there are always little things you can do to make your environment just a bit safer. Read on for some suggestions of small changes that can make a big difference—and possibly help you and your coworkers avoid a painful accident.

Use proper signage

Exit doors should always be clearly marked, but that’s not the extent of how signage should be used. Use signs throughout the office to make employees aware of nearby hazards. For example, set out notifications in obvious places to warn employees about slippery floors, or to keep people out of the way of a door’s swinging path. You could even use signage to warn of equipment-specific hazards if you feel the risk warrants an alert.

Tie up or cover cables and cords

Loose cables and cords create a serious tripping hazard in the workplace. When bunches are present, tie them together to reduce the risk of catching onto a foot. When possible, embed them under the carpet or along baseboards. You can also purchase cable raceways to run groups of cables above the floor in a way that won’t create a tripping obstacle for foot traffic.

Keep walkways, doorways and congested areas clear

The more congestion found in walkways, the more likely it is that trips, bumps, spills and other accidents will occur. Keep high-traffic areas as free of clutter as possible. Make sure areas by doors are wide open to prevent collisions. And never leave clutter or other objects on or near flights of stairs.

Install surge protection devices

Electrical surges can pose a great risk to devices, but employees close to that equipment can also be damaged if a surge occurs. Voltage regulation devices help keep the flow of electricity consistent, stopping a surge before it strikes electrical equipment. These devices are easy to install, and they can be a great layer of protection for both equipment and employees if an electrical surge hits your building.

Keep shelving orderly

When shelving is piled high with unstable contents, the risk of a spill increases. Particularly with overhead shelving, the risk of falling objects can be significant and potentially lead to injuries. Keep shelving neat and orderly at all times to eliminate the risk of an accidental spill. Invest in shelf dividers, storage drawers and other organizational items to keep items separated and prevent an avalanche of office supplies.

No one wants to work in a dangerous environment, and injuries in the workplace are always a burden for businesses. It makes sense to do everything you can on the prevention end, stopping incidents before they start. Your business will appreciate your efforts, and your office morale may also enjoy a boost.
Maire lives in the Indianapolis area and enjoys writing about safety and construction. She also loves double chocolate brownies and her Scottish Terrier, Pete.

Note: Under the segment about Use Proper Signage, all offices can use safety posters throughout the building, that fit the particular hazard in that place.