Potential Safety Hazards in the Office
For most people in administration or corporate professions, working in an office can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. You get to sit at a desk most of the day in a warm and comfortable environment. Most offices have a range of amenities, such as a cafeteria, snack machines and some even have relaxation rooms or office gyms.
However, if proper measures are not put in place to insure employees safety, the office can become a space where dangerous hazards are commonplace. If an employee is injured because of an avoidable hazard, the employer is responsible in many cases. There are well established rules, regulations and recommendations for eliminating hazards in any type of workplace for this very reason. Several different types of office workplace accidents are outlined below.
Slips & Trips
Offices are typically a place where you will find a network of desktop PCs and other related equipment. All of this equipment is connected by cables, most of which are safely hidden under flooring. The cables are fed through access points where they link to the equipment used on desks and other areas of the office. If external cabling is not properly secured, it can create a tripping hazard. A related hazard involves the openings of cable access points, which should always have a cover. If this is not the case, an employee could suffer a serious trip and fall.
Whether your office space is carpeted or has a different type of flooring, there are potential hazards if regular cleaning is not carried out. Carpet can become sticky from spills, whereas other materials may be slippery when wet. In the case of the latter, any spills should be cleaned immediately and wet floor signs should be used to alert employees to the potential slipping hazard.
A well-maintained office should have an established system for storing materials and equipment that is not intended for static use. For instance, a box of printer paper left in a walkway is a potential tripping hazard. Walkways should have adequate space for employees to get from any two points without having to navigate any type of clutter, whether the items are used in business processes or not.
Even if office items and equipment are stored in a room that is separate from the main office space, there are still potential hazards to consider. Large, heavy items that are stored on a high shelf can result in injury in several ways. Lifting heavy items down could result in back injuries or a fall. If the item is not securely positioned, it may also fall on top of an employee. Any storage area should be well organized with the safety of employees as a top priority.
Electrical Wiring & Faulty Equipment
Office employees risk serious or potentially fatal electrocution due to damaged wiring or faulty electrical equipment. Such issues are often the result of poor inspection and maintenance protocols. While it is not unusual for wiring to become damaged for various reasons, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure any issues are immediately addressed.
Equipment faults are also often the result of poor maintenance. However, in many cases, a business may purchase equipment that has not passed necessary safety tests and standards in order to cut costs. Employees could end up paying the price if issues with electrical wiring and faulty equipment are not identified and addressed.
There is a long list of potential ergonomic hazards that can impact the health of employees. Poorly designed office chairs can lead to back problems due to bad posture. Eye strain may result from glaring computer screens or artificial lighting in the office. Sitting for long periods of time can cause a host of health problems. Even the position of the equipment used in offices can affect the health of employees.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, you may be able to seek compensation. For a free initial consultation to discuss your office injuries, reach out to the Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown today.
Posted on behalf of the Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown