Keeping Safety in Mind at the Office

Although an office may not be as dangerous as a manufacturing factory floor, on-the-job accidents still happen and can cause potentially serious injuries. Be aware of the possible workplace hazards you face. If you take the necessary precautions to prevent incidents it can save you both pain and money.

Know the Hazards

Trip and fall accidents are the most common cause of disabling injuries in an office environment. Causes include:

  • Walking on slippery, uneven or cluttered floors, especially if wearing high heels.
  • Going up or down stairs without using the handrail.
  • Using wheeled chairs that can roll away from you when you try to sit on them, lean back too far or lean forward to pick up something from the floor.

Messy offices and storage areas are accidents waiting to happen. Tangled cords, discarded equipment or parts, and small items such as pens, screws or paper clips can also cause slips and falls. Keep your workspace and common areas clear by storing things up off the floor and discarding any trash.

Office machines also cause their share of accidents. Equipment should always be well-ventilated. Clean fans and filters regularly to maintain their best function and remember to unplug equipment during cleaning. If for any reason the equipment smells like smoke or you see sparks or smoke, unplug it immediately.

Another dangerous situation is carrying heavy items incorrectly. Be sure to bend at your knees and lift with your legs to prevent strain when lifting. If possible, make your load lighter by taking several trips or ask a co-worker for help. Also make sure that you can see clearly over anything you’re carrying to watch out for items or people in your path.

Desks and file cabinets present special hazards. Drawers should have safety stops to prevent the drawer and its contents from falling out. Keep drawers and cabinets closed when not in use to prevent you or someone else tripping over them.

Think Safety

Look around your office and identify any possible safety hazards. If you find hazards that you think need further attention to correct, talk to your manager. Work to develop a safety conscious attitude so you can become aware of office hazards and take the appropriate precautions to avoid them.