Health and safety – three words that can make any office manager shudder, clench and laugh derisively at the same time. Health. And. Safety. An often mocked trio of words that are only noticed when followed by the words ‘gone mad’. However, after a bit of research, I’ve actually come to realize just how important it is in the workplace.
I’m a bit of a clumsy oaf so I’m used to my fair share of scrapes, stubbed toes and the occasional falling over Delboy-style, however I have never been involved in anything too serious in the workplace (touchwood).
For me, working in an office is far safer than my previous job in a kitchen, without any of the hassles of chemicals, boiling water or hygiene situations; however there are still risks to take notice of within the office environment. Below are just a few things to consider regarding health and safety in the office:
Trailing wires: Most offices require a great deal of technology within (usually computers, monitors and servers) and consequently can create a tangled mess of wires. Consider using a cable-tidy or a desk hole-tidy to minimize the amount of cables running along the floor that can cause a tripping hazard.
Fire escape plan: It is vital that you plan an effective and safe route for escape, and that all of your employees are aware of it. I remember seeing a Mayfair office space that had created a wall-sized poster that detailed their fire escape plan, providing an extra sense of style and edge to the room, as well as improving safety.
Equipment maintenance: As hardware has a habit of suffering due to use, you could be presented with faulty hardware. Whether it’s a dodgy light flicker or a damaged cable, it could always present a potential problem in the future.
Health and safety in the workplace is easy enough to uphold – the key aspect is strong communication between employees and some way for everyone to report any concerns they may have.