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As an employer, it’s easy to assume that safety in the workplace only really applies to environments such as warehouses or building sites. However, offices have just as many regulations to adhere to which you may not be aware of. Ensuring the safety and well-being of all those who use your office is imperative. As well as being the law, it will also contribute to a much happier and more productive workplace when your office has been properly risk assessed. 

The design, materials and layout all have a part to play in how safe your office is for both your employees and clients. Here is our overview of office safety tips to help you learn more. 

Slips & Trips

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According to the HSE, over a third of non-fatal accidents at work are caused by slips or trips. A poor layout, the wrong materials used or a general disregard for health and safety is a huge contributing factors. 

Slips: Slips happen when the surface of your floors is slippery. This can be down to the wrong material used for the flooring (i.e slippery porcelain tiles), cleaning products, rainwater being walked in, ceiling leaks and spillages. 

Trips: Hazards such as cables, bulky objects or uneven flooring tiles or loose carpeting can all cause trips. 

It’s clear that using the right materials and ensuring a clear walkway is hugely important. Remember, not all trip/slip hazards are immediately obvious. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure they aren’t causing a trip or slip hazard too.

DSE (Display Screen Equipment)

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Most people who work in an office spend the majority of their time sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen. While it might seem like a fairly harmless task, over time a poor desk setup can cause a multitude of physical and mental health conditions. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Eyestrain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • RSI

All of the above can contribute to employee sickness and job dissatisfaction. To avoid DSE problems, it’s imperative to carry out an HSE assessment to ensure the desk setup is correct. This should be done for every employee who works at a desk, and should also be repeated if they are suffering from any discomfort. 

Remember, as everyone is a different height (and may have unique requirements) ensuring the desk and chair set up fits their needs is key. Investing in good quality desks, chairs and materials can also avoid problems. Additional add-ons such as ergonomic keyboards or screen height stands are excellent too.

Manual Handling

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While an office job consists predominantly of sitting down, there may be occasions when your employees are tasked with lifting heavy objects. For example, if you are moving offices or if you need help with a delivery. This is a very easy way that accidents or injuries can occur, especially if your employees haven’t had specific training on how to lift safely. Employees also shouldn’t be asked to use machinery without training either, as this could be a breach of health and safety regulations. 

However, on a basic level, splitting heavy loads into more manageable weights is a good idea. If employees can also work together rather than one person carrying everything, this can also reduce the risk of an accident occurring. For more demanding jobs, hiring a dedicated caretaker or ‘handyperson’ who is qualified in lifting and using machinery will help keep your employees safe. 

Find Out More

The above is just a snapshot of our top office safety tips. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure HSE guidelines are implemented and followed for the safety of all those who work on your premises. That being said, the right materials and a high-spec installation can go a long way to ensuring your office is free from hazards in the first place.

Advanced Commercial Interiors has been helping businesses reimagine their office and commercial spaces since 2009. Based in Nottingham, we cover the whole of the UK including Derby, Birmingham, Leicester and Manchester. From small re-fits to something a little more ambitious, drop us a line on 0115 939 7572 with your project enquiry and we’ll be in touch.