You’d be forgiven for exclaiming “health and safety has gone mad!” in recent years.
This year alone we’ve received news that guards were told to stop hole-punching train tickets, while children at a school in New Zealand were told that tree-climbing was now against the rules, according to the Telegraph.
Now, you may be rolling your eyes in exasperation, but when it comes to your office, how often do you think about health and safety?
As a recent article by Business Matters suggests, even the seemingly safest office can hide a whole host of health and safety risks, especially if you don’t carry out regular checks.
Even if a claim for work injury compensation isn’t made, a member of staff getting injured at work can be costly, especially to smaller businesses.
While you might think about the obvious health and safety concerns, such as keeping fire escapes clear and safely storing harmful substances, there are many other potential hazards that you might be overlooking.
For example, do you know if any of your office chairs are faulty?
Luckily, Business Matters has compiled a list of ‘hidden’ hazards to think about. The list includes:
- Photocopiers: These office regulars, along with certain printers, can create ozone gas, which is harmful to lungs, eyes, and the respiratory tract. Placing an ozone filter nearby can offset the effects.
Bacteria and virus hubs
- Doorknobs, the kettle, keyboards: these are all hubs for bacteria and viruses. If you have hot-desking in your office, keyboards in particular will spread illness throughout the office, as microbiological tests revealed keyboards typically harbour five times more bacteria and viruses than a toilet seat.
- Air quality
Even offices in the countryside can suffer from poor air quality. Poor ventilation, chemicals from electrical equipment and air quality can cause asthma, allergies, fatigue as well as lower productivity.
Workstations can cause some of the most common office injuries. Incorrect monitor distance and height, keyboard position and chair height can lead to neck, back and wrist injuries.
You might think your office is safe, but potential hazards can be hidden in plain sight. However, making small changes to improve the health and safety in your office can help reduce the risk of injury for your staff, as well as transforming your office into a happier, tidier and more productive workspace.
If you think your office might need a health check why not get in touch