May 04, 2018 @ 12:00am

One of the smartest decisions a company can make is ensuring that their work space is safe. Workplace safety is extremely important for many reasons. When implemented correctly, it has the ability to create a more productive work environment, lower absenteeism, and boost profit margins. Most importantly, when a company has a safe workplace, their most valuable asset is protected – its people.

In contrast, when there is no emphasis on workplace safety, companies may experience employee injuries on the job. These injuries may result in lost work hours, increased insurance costs, legal costs, and workers’ compensation premiums for the company.

To prevent injuries from occurring, the workplace dangers first must be recognized. While not all work spaces are the same, some of the standard safety issues in an office setting are:

  • Slips, Trips and Falls: These are among the most common workplace injuries experienced by employees. Workspaces that are disorganized and cluttered, such as having boxes or extension cords crossing walkways, all present tripping hazards. Be certain to have a designated area for these items, and make sure to properly cover or secure all extension cords. In addition, rolling office chairs may seem harmless, but even they can cause pose as a safety hazard since employees may use them as stepping stools. Having proper equipment such as a step ladder can prevent this from happening.
  • Over Capacity: Although something fits, doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Over-packing shelves and filing cabinets presents the opportunity for them to fall. If an employee happens to be near or underneath a falling object, major injuries could occur. It is also a good tip to keep heavy objects near the ground; if they fall, there is little space for them to hit anything on the way down.
  • Poor Ergonomics: Ergonomic issues occur when certain conditions in the workplace, such as improper body positions, put a strain on your body. Since these usually happen slowly they are hard to spot right away, but over time they can lead to serious long-term injuries. An important message to keep in mind is that “not one size fits all” in an office setting. Providing adjustable equipment such as chairs, monitors, and desks accommodates for a wide range of employees, and it allows them to perform their work comfortably. Another great tip is to provide document holders. Looking down at documents puts a major strain on the neck and could be easily avoided by investing in a relatively cheap solution.
  • Fire Hazards: Unfortunately, office fires are not uncommon. To minimize the chance of fires occurring in the workplace, make sure all power cords are undamaged and the wires are completely free of exposure. Also, extension cords and electrical outlets should never be overloaded. Always make sure fire sprinklers and escape routes are unblocked. This will reduce the risk of further dangers taking place in the event of an emergency.

Office administrators can prevent safety issues from occurring in the workplace by simply doing regular office walk-throughs, and talking to their employees about their concerns. Open communication is essential when it comes to workplace safety.


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