Common Workplace Hazards at the Office and How to Prevent Them

As an office manager, you might think that your workplace is safe and that your employees are unlikely to experience serious injuries or health problems. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Offices are filled with safety hazards, but many accidents and injuries are preventable.

Workers who get hurt might need expensive medical care and time off to recover. That can cause your workers compensation premiums to rise and your company’s productivity to fall. Injuries can also have a negative impact on morale. Creating a safer office environment can help you attract and retain high-caliber employees and save your business money in the long run.

How Employees Can Get Hurt at the Office

Falls are some of the most common types of office accidents. Workers can slip on wet floors or trip over loose carpeting, wires that run along the floor, or objects that were dropped and not picked up. Falls can result in back and neck injuries, broken bones, and even concussions.

Poor indoor air quality is another serious and often overlooked hazard in offices. If air can’t circulate freely, people might experience headaches, asthma attacks, and allergy symptoms.

Ergonomic injuries develop gradually, and office workers might not realize that anything is wrong until a problem is serious. When people sit at desks for hours per day, they can develop poor posture, which can lead to back and neck pain.

Fires can cause devastating injuries, as well as property damage. Offices are filled with paper and other flammable materials. An appliance that overheats or malfunctions or a frayed electrical cord can create a spark that can quickly ignite other objects.

How to Prevent Workplace Injuries

Every office is different. Start by walking around your office and noting any safety hazards. You might be surprised by the number of risks that are routinely overlooked.

Create a plan to address them. You might have to replace damaged equipment, change the layout of the office, buy new chairs and desks, or implement new policies and procedures to prevent accidents and fires.

Communication is important. Workers might be frustrated and disagreeable if you simply make changes without telling them why. They’ll be much more likely to support those changes if they understand that your goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Invest in Safety Equipment and Training

Your office should have at least one first aid kit that’s easily accessible so employees can act quickly if an injury occurs. You should also provide routine training so that members of your team will know how to prevent accidents and what to do if one occurs.

UniShield offers workplace safety training, first aid and CPR courses, as well as classes on OSHA compliance, fire extinguisher safety, and other topics. Figure out which types of training would be most appropriate for your team and contact us today to schedule a class.

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