It’s easy to think that if you have a team who work in the office, you are completely safe from any health and safety risks. That being said, health and safety policies exist for a reason. You need to make sure that you are taking care of your staff, even if they do work within a relatively safe environment. If you don’t know where to start, then make sure that you are at least avoiding these top mistakes.
Not conducting risk assessments
When you work in an office, you may have office workers who sit down for a lot of the day. Workstation assessments are crucial if you want to keep your team safe. It’s vital that you stop your team from sitting incorrectly or that you help them avoid repetitive strain from typing. If you don’t then you may find that they end up having time off work, and this can put a dent in your bottom line. Schedule risk assessments regularly and also make sure that you ask your team to report any injuries that they may be experiencing. This will help you to keep your team comfortable and productive for as long as possible.
Not giving your team enough breaks
Office environments can be busy. With that in mind, you need to make sure that your team are taking enough breaks. If your team are staring at a computer screen for hours on end, every single day then this can result in them experiencing eye strain, migraines and more. Taking regular breaks is a legal requirement and you have to make sure that your team adhere to this. It also helps you to ensure that your team is refreshed and able to concentrate. You don’t have to give your team set break times, although you could easily cover things like desk exercise routines when you train employees. You do however need to give your team a variety of tasks to do that don’t involve screen time. This could include photocopying and filing. This will give them a break from their computer and it also encourages them to move around a bit. If you don’t feel as though your team are taking the breaks they need, then mandatory rest sessions may be required. One thing you can do to help your team here would be for you to give them a break room, or a lounge space. This could include some magazines, a coffee machine and some healthy snacks.
PAT testing might not be a legal requirement, but you do have to take it into account. A lot of companies opt for PAT testing as it helps to ensure that all electrical equipment is working as it should be. It also means that they can keep their team safe at all times. Report any electrical problems and make sure that your team is doing the same. Keep the manuals for your complex devices, and make sure that you perform regular maintenance. If you are buying electrical equipment second-hand then you will need to make sure that it meets the same high standards. If you buy a printer and don’t get it tested then it could pose a fire risk, if someone has not repaired it properly in the past. This is why PAT testing, and electrical testing, are so important.
Not checking your first-aid box
It’s so important that you check your first-aid box regularly. If you do a stock-check right now then you may notice that your first-aid box is slightly depleted. Paper cuts happen often when working in an office environment. Plasters are usually the first things that end up being used up. Make sure that you check your stock and that you also make sure that you have enough first-aid to cover your staff. If you have grown quite a lot since you last updated your first-aid box, then make sure you have medical items to cover your recent changes. This could include burns cream if you have added a kitchen area with a kettle, for example.
No signage noting the exits
It’s a legal requirement for you to list where the exits are in your building. If you don’t then you may find that you end up struggling to keep your team safe, should there be a fire. It may not seem like much, having a few signs dotted around, but it could make a major difference to how safe your team feels. Having a sign above your first-aid box is also important, as it helps to ensure that people can always find what they need in the event of an accident.
Wires and tripping hazards
If you have wires everywhere then this will be a major tripping hazard. If you want to do something about this, then take the time to put down some wire tape. If you have the budget then you should be running the wires under the floorboards. This isn’t expensive to do but it could save your team from having nasty accidents. Of course, tying wires together is also a very good idea. If you don’t tie wires together then you may find that they end up being an even bigger hazard, and sometimes they can even put you at risk of a fire. If you aren’t sure how to tidy your wires then simple casing tidies can be purchased on Amazon for now. You can also hire a company to come and tidy your wires for you, so you can feel confident knowing that you are keeping your team as safe as possible while they are working for you.
Of course, keeping everyone safe when running a business isn’t easy, but if you follow this guide then you should find it easier than ever to keep your doors open. Remember, accidents cost money, so the more you can do to avoid them, the better. If you want to take things to that next level then hire a safety expert to come and take a look around your business offices.