Sometimes, the dangers of a work environment are easy to assess. Dangerous factory work, mechanical jobs, and other rough and ready professions are noted for their inherent danger and risk. Where there is the greatest risk, there is also the greatest precautions. However, it’s not just the obviously dangerous workplaces that pose a threat to employees and employers. Seemingly safe environments, such as offices and retail spaces, always pose a risk. The only difference is all too often these environments are not treating with the same risk as others.
In this article, we take a look at some of the workplace threats that can cause trouble but which are often overlooked by less than stellar workplace safety reviewers.
How to Stay Safe
When it comes to keeping your employees safe, communication is key. A business owner could have the very best workplace practices, but there’ll be ineffective if they aren’t conveyed to the employees.
It’s always important not to just boringly walk through the dangers of the workplace with your employees; there’ll be more likely to remember it if it’s livened up through role play and/or other interactive ways.
Finally, one of the most important aspects of keeping safe is making sure you have a plan for what you do if something does go wrong. This, in many cases, is just as important as prevention. Make sure your employees know the procedure for handling workplace injuries and accidents. Similarly, you should also be prepared to handle things going wrong by ensuring your business is properly covered and prepared to deal with whatever happens. As with most things in life, its preparation and prevention that offer the best keys to success. You’re can’t always control what happens, but you can control your reaction.
Next, we move on those less than obvious – but very simple – dangers lurking in your workplace.
Clutter is actually more of a hazard than you’d think. Apparently, it undermines our mental productivity and can greatly affect the mood of an office. A messy environment equals a messy mind, one in which dangers happen more by blindsiding and inability to focus. And then there’s also the physical danger; the more stuff lying around, the more chance there is that somebody will trip over and fall. The answer? A simple new policy: no mess!
Cabinets are the enemy of HR professionals. These simple objects have a disproportionately high effect on injuries in the workplace. Whether it’s a cabinet draw left open or a cabinet that hasn’t been securely fastened to the wall, the dangers are obvious once you’re aware of them. And the injuries can be very painful, as well as potentially very serious. So what do you do? Let everyone know the dangers of drawers being left open, and also ensure they’re attached to the wall.
You might be quite amazed just how many people suffer from eyestrain. Roughly 6 out of 10 people will suffer eye problems, just from looking at their screen for long periods of time. Of course, this is part of the modern world; everything is done on computers. Still, that doesn’t allow you to wash your hands of the problem – or you might just end up paying for it later. There are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening.
The first is making sure everyone takes regular breaks from their digital screens. The simple, easily remembered 20-20-20 rule can help here. Every twenty minutes, tell your employees to take twenty seconds to stare twenty feet ahead of them. Doing this might just stop pain from developing in their eyes. You should also remind them to blink while they’re working at the computers.
The quality of the air in an office is another one that is often overlooked. However, poor air can lead to problems such as poor breathing, increased illness, and food sanitation issues. The best solution for this is to make sure the office receives plenty of fresh ventilation, especially if harmful chemicals are used during cleaning.
You can’t always prevent accidents from happening, but you can take steps to ensure the risk if minimal. By taking the appropriate steps, you can protect both your employees and your business from avoidable instances that can cause real issues.
This article was submitted by Helen Sellers