People often think that working in offices are "cushy jobs" that don't face any risks. They do have some very real hazards, though. For employers, setting a safety plan to minimize risks is necessary. On top of this, employees need to take steps to increase safety. Still, the responsibility falls on the employer to ensure that things are being done properly and that workers have the required tools to get their job duties done.
There are a few hazards that are common in offices, so these are a good place to start when an employer needs to check safety standards. Addressing these can go a long way toward helping workers to avoid injuries.
Keeping floors clean
Keeping the floors free of clutter, dirt, grime and wetness can improve employee safety. Falls and trips are one of the most common workplace accidents. While these might seem minor, they can lead to serious injuries. A person who falls might hit their head on something or injure their back on the floor. Mopping up spills, using cord covers and keeping boxes and other items out of walkways are important steps to take.
Setting a fire plan
A fire in the workplace can be deadly. Employers should have a set plan for what workers need to do if there is a fire, including an evacuation plan. On top of this, fire prevention steps must be taken. These include not placing things closer than 18 inches below sprinkler heads, checking cords for frayed spots, keeping fire exits clear and only using space heaters in a responsible manner.
Providing ergonomic equipment
Ergonomic equipment, including desks, chairs and keyboards, can help to prevent cumulative trauma injuries. Some employers opt to provide adjustable furniture so that the employees can set things up in the way that's best for them. Additionally, employees must use items like ladders or stepstools when they need to reach overhead.
Monitoring air quality
The air quality in an office is important. Indoor spaces should be well ventilated, and the area should be cleaned thoroughly. This can help to control the spread of allergens, respiratory irritants and germs that can make employees and clients sick.
Preventing eye strain
Eye strain is another serious issue in the workplace. Employers should provide workers with monitors that reduce glare and allow them to change the font size. Workers should take a 10-minute break each hour to give the eyes a chance to rest.
When employees are injured, they can turn to workers' compensation for benefits. These can include medical coverage and temporary disability, depending on the circumstances.