CITY CENTRE OFFICE SPACE
Our top tips for staying safe in the office
At Hubsquared we understand the importance of safety at work – whether it is literally the physical safety your office can represent, or the need to minimise risks from germs, manual handling or any other business activity.
Getting our heads together, we have come up with a list of the top ten tips for staying safe in your office. Hopefully this list can help keep you and your employees safe, happy and productive.
- Familiarise yourself and your staff with your workplace.
A full office walkthrough is usually built into the standard induction or ‘welcome to the company’ for new starters. In addition to this you might consider forming a group or delegate individuals in order to carry out frequent office walkthroughs and ensure that safety protocols are being followed.
Pay great attention to the many different surroundings that are present in the workplace and study the working conditions of the employees in order to identify any potential dangers or risks (such as items that could cause collisions and any barriers that might get in the way of your employees; inadequate lighting could lead to missing obstacles not to mention strained eyesight. It is also very important to be aware of any environmental pollutants and do everything in your power to eliminate these.
- Keep work places clean and uncluttered
Employees are responsible for keeping work areas uncluttered in order to reduce the risk of slipping, tripping, and falling. It is also beneficial for them to clean and sanitise as they go along, as this helps to maintain the workplace free of hazardous bacteria and viruses. It should be built into the employee job responsibilities to keep their work area clean and clear from obstacles.
- Encourage good employee hygiene
Employee hygiene has evolved into a serious concern for the safety of the workplace. It is essential to have controls in place inside an organisation in order to stop the spread of hazardous viruses from one person to another. Some examples of these controls include using hand sanitizers, wearing masks, and washing your hands properly. Reducing the amount of germs in your office not only makes your employees much more efficient, requiring fewer sick days, but also produces a safe, healthy place of work. The mental health bonuses for your team that stem from this can be significant.
- Dress correctly
This is not about a strict dress code, unless your company already employs one. It is about dressing safely to meet the needs of your role. Depending on the type of work being performed, employees should give careful consideration to the types of clothing that would be most appropriate in order to reduce the risk of common injuries and accidents in the workplace. This may include avoiding wearing jewellery with dangling parts or items such as ties if they are going to be operating machinery – even in an office environment – and wearing shoes with closed toes where there could be issues with items being dropped onto feet. Personal protection equipment (PPE) should be worn whenever and whenever it is required to do so in addition to the requirement to dress safely for work.
- Observe proper handling procedures
In order to reduce the risk of employees suffering from physical injuries, proper lifting and bending techniques must be taught to workers. It is essential to avoid using tools or machinery for which you or they have not received sufficient training. If an employee is unsure how to carry out this task, it is ideal for them to ask for assistance from a supervisor or the company’s safety officer. There are standard manual handling training courses available, which can enlighten your staff to the correct way to lift, move or otherwise complete their working responsibilities, as well as the risks involved in not doing so.
- Make sure Training is up to scratch
As just pointed out, it is essential to avoid using tools or machinery for which you have not received proper training. This is to safeguard not just the safety of one individual, but also the safety of the individuals who are surrounding that individual. Complete training and record all of the training completions in the workers’ files. Ensure training requirements are complete and up to date, as some will require refreshers, or for the course to be completed again in full after a certain amount of time has passed.
- Closing discipline
Make sure all doors and cabinet drawers are completely closed. They have the potential to result in collisions and trips & falls. Encourage staff to put them back into their closed status after each usage
- Familiarise workers with the following emergency procedures
Beyond fire drills and first aid training, it is important to make sure each employee understand their responsibility to do their bit to keep themselves and their colleagues safe at work. Any form of alcohol or drug misuse will not be tolerated, and while support may be given to individuals, it is essential to underline the risk that this presents to the individual and their colleagues. Sleep is another element that is often overlooked in office safety procedures. Well-rested employees are able to maintain their focus and awareness of their surroundings and safety, which is valuable to maintaining safety in the workplace.
- Take breaks appropriately
It’s not just the minimum 7 hours per night that keep employees sharp and focused. Well rested employees also include those who are not working themselves to the point of exhaustion. As the work day becomes longer in most cases, it is essential that your employees take appropriate breaks to ensure they are looking after their health. Promote lunches away from desks, taking the full break period, and perhaps taking some exercise on their breaks – even a short walk is hugely beneficial to the physical and mental health of your workers.
- Always report unsafe conditions
Have a system in place for reporting unsafe conditions. Give your workers the ability to raise concerns and report unsafe conditions in the workplace by giving them the authority to do so. While ideally you will be aware of the ins and outs of your business, your workers are encountering these situations daily. Should something change and a risk arise, there should be a process for your staff to bring this to attention without any risk to themselves. Instead, worker safety should always be the responsibility of all members of the team, and celebrated when a potential risk is brought to your attention and the threat from it is minimised.
This is just our top ten guide to staying safe in the office, there were many points that didn’t make the list and safety in the office needs many more inputs than these. There is a duty of care to employees to provide everything they need to stay safe in the office, but it is important to remember that safety is the responsibility of everyone in a business.
We wish you many happy years in your offices, and of course we are more than happy to talk to you about taking a space in our beautiful, clean, and safe managed offices here at Hubsquared! Get in touch!