Office Design and Health and Safety

The average employee spends about 40 hours at work. This is a long time to spend in the office and understandably employers want to make the time spent in the office as comfortable as possible. Some business will also have clients visit the office from time to time. As an employer, you’re responsible for ensuring the health and safety of your employees. You’ll have to ensure that your workplace meets the standards set out in the Health and Safety at Work act of 1974.

A majority of employers tend to have a nonchalant attitude towards health and safety within the office. The general thought is that the office is already a safe place as employees don’t use dangerous machinery or work from heights so there’s less risks of getting injured. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As the employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your workspace meets the necessary health and safety requirements. This means allowing your workers to work in a clean, hygienic and habitable space that is free from risks and hazards.

When designing your office interior, it is important to keep health and safety at the forefront of your mind. From the chairs you use, to the location of your fire exit signs, office design and health & safety can work hand in hand.

Office

The Law

The first and most important thing to bear in mind is the legislation on health and safety at work. As mentioned above, it is your responsibility as an employer ensure you are meeting everything required of you. Some of the requirements include making sure that your staff have appropriate health and safety training. You should also make sure that the workspace and equipment are properly maintained, that there’s enough storage to avoid clutter and more.

The legislation also requires all workplaces to carry out a risk assessment. The purpose of this is to identify and address any risk or risk hazards found. You should look out for loose wires, uneven steps, slippery surfaces and more. It might be a good idea to mark every issue found as either a high or low risk so that you can priorities when it comes to fixing.

Some other considerations when designing your office includes:

Fire Safety

Fire safety is one of the most important aspects of Health & safety as it involves everyone in the building. It’s important to take necessary percussions to reduce the risk of a fire. Place suitable fire safety equipment such as extinguishers or fire blankets in the kitchen or server room. It is also important to have an effective evacuation procedure in place.

Fire safety is one of the most important aspects of Health & safety as it involves everyone in the building. It’s important to take necessary percussions to reduce the risk of a fire. Place suitable fire safety equipment such as extinguishers or fire blankets in the kitchen or server room. It is also important to have an effective evacuation procedure in place.

Layout

When designing your office, the layout is one of the most important considerations you’ll have to make. Did you know that the layout of your office impacts the productivity and engagement of your employees? While you’ll do everything you can to improve the aesthetics of your workspace. You’ll also need to make sure it’s in accordance with the health and safety regulations. Make sure that the flow of the office is unobstructed and that every area has easy and visible access to a fire door. You should also have an evacuation plan and regular drills to make sure that your staff are familiar with the process.

Lighting

Lighting is another area of consideration when designing your workspace. To prevent eye straining and the risks of accidents, you’ll need to make sure that spaces are properly lit. You should be sure to replace flickering or blown bulbs as soon as possible. To reduce energy costs and even improve employee morale, you could design the workspace to take advantage of natural lighting.

Office Using Natural Light

Bathrooms

To promote positive health and maintain a hygienic workplace, you should make sure that you provide enough washrooms for the number of people that’ll be in the building. The washrooms should be cleaned frequently to reduce the risk of bacteria spreading. This could in turn increase employee illness and sick leave.

Male Bathroom

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many benefits of focusing on health and safety when designing a workspace. You should be sure to consult with your employees and a health and safety consultant to make sure that your workers are happy while meeting the regulations of the HSE.


Disclaimer: This post was written by a guest author.