8 ways to prevent injuries in your workplace
Office accidents and injuries related to basic office tasks are surprisingly common. There are several things that both office managers and individual employees can do to help reduce the risk of accidents. Here are eight ways to ensure that everyone’s working environment is as safe as possible.
1. Use Helpful Visual Reminders
Seeing a safety warning frequently can help ingrain it into people’s consciousness. They’ll be better able to catch themselves when they’re doing something unsafe and correct the behavior. Office safety posters can help your staff stop themselves from using their workstations unsafely. Reminding people of how to properly perform a task as simple as using a computer can have a big impact on how they work. Posters should be located in conspicuous places where people pass by frequently such as in a breakroom or near a copier.
2. Hold Safety Trainings on a Regular Basis
Consider holding dedicated meetings to train staff about safety procedures. Ideally, this should be done on a monthly or quarterly basis. Alternatively, you can integrate safety topics into your regularly scheduled staff meetings. Address topics such as ergonomics, the safe use of equipment, and what to do in the event of an accident.
3. Alert People of Unsafe Conditions With Signage
Let people know when something requires extra caution instead of forcing them to see it for themselves. For example, if a floor has just been cleaned, you should have a standing sign to make people aware that they need to use caution. If an area is having maintenance being done and a hazard could come into somebody’s path, you need to put up a large sign advising people that work is in progress. If possible, it’s best to block access entirely to an area where work is being performed.
4. Give People the Supplies That They Need to Clean Up Spills
If your office staff doesn’t have basic supplies to clean up a spill and they need to wait for help to arrive to clean something off the floor, it creates an unnecessary safety hazard. Moreover, some people may be more likely to simply walk away from a mess without claiming responsibility for it if they aren’t able to clean it up themselves. Keep plenty of cleaning products on hand such as paper towels and spray cleaner.
5. Have a Floor Mat at the Front Entrance of Your Office
If people coming into your office can’t wipe their feet somewhere, they’re going to track in water or snow on an inclement day. On a hard surface, this can make people prone to slip and fall. Make sure that people can use a floor mat to wipe their feet off, and ensure that is properly secured to the floor so that it won’t slip.
6. Eliminate Trip Hazards
If your office has long tangles of wires of cords connected to equipment, you may need to consider having some rewiring done. A stretched out cord and even a taped-down cord are an obvious and likely cause of injury. People shouldn’t have to maneuver around anything when they walk through the office. Get help from an experienced electrician or cabling professional to make sure that you have all of the outlets and phone connections that you need in every location.
7. Help People Reach Things Safely
If any supplies or files are stored somewhere high, you need to keep a small step stool in your office. Without this necessary equipment, people will use whatever is near them to reach something, or they may attempt knocking supplies off of a shelf with another object. Step stools reduce the risk of falls as well as injuries caused by falling objects.
8. Address Safety Hazards As Soon As Possible
If you see a problem in your office that could be dangerous, you need to make fixing it a priority. There’s no type of work that takes precedent over ensuring that everyone stays safe. If you’re not sure about what to do or who to call for help, ask your supervisor. In this type of situation, asking for help won’t make you seem inept. Instead, you’ll appear conscientious and responsible.
Taking active steps to promote safety in the workplace results in fewer accidents and injuries as well as less time away from work. Help your staff stay comfortable and safe while helping them perform at their best.