If your business is moving to a new office, or you are starting up your first one, there is a lot that you are going to have to consider. One of the main issues that will always be necessary to look into is the safety of the people who work there. There are a lot of safety concerns that you will come across in any new office, and in this article we are going to take a look at some of the most important of these. If you are aware of these, you should find that you know what to do to keep your employees safe – and ensure a brighter future for the company.
Slipping & Falling
If you look at the statistics for office safety across the world, the single biggest cause of injury is slipping and falling. Therefore, if you can do whatever you can to avoid these instances occurring in your office, you are going to be keeping your employees much safer, and everyone is going to appreciate that. So what can you do to make sure you keep slips and falls to an absolute minimum? As it happens, there are a couple of important things to bear in mind.
Firstly, consider the kind of flooring you have in the office, and whether it might need to be replaced with something safer. If so, do that before you actually move your staff into the office. Then you need to make sure that there are some basic health and safety routines in place to ensure people don’t run and make slipping more likely. At the same time, be sure to keep the floors clear of obstructions. That will ensure that fewer people slip or fall in your office.
Collisions can either be with other people or with objects. In either case, the majority of collisions are avoidable, and you should make sure that you are doing whatever you can to stop them from occurring. In a new office, you will want to clear the floor of anything anyone could collide into before they start working there. On top of that, consider whether there are any potentially problematic parts of the office – blind spots around corners, for instance – and what you might be able to do about them – such as putting up a mirror or a sign suggesting people to take care in that area. With that kind of attention to detail, collisions will be kept to a minimum.
It’s not just children who need to take care around sharp corners – any of us could be injured in this way. In a new office, you might not know which corners are going to be sharp at first, so you might need to make sure that you are checking them all out to begin with. If there are any that seem particularly problematic, you need to make sure that you are going to cushion them in some way, or even have them attended to and sanded down. With sharp corners being one of the most common safety problems in offices across the world, this is more important than you might at first assume.
Although it might not seem as though poor lighting is a hazard in itself, it’s not hard to see why it might pose a problem in any office. After all, if your office has poor lighting, it means that people are more likely to suffer from the above causes of injuries, especially tripping and falling. Poor lighting can also cause people to have ongoing health problems. In the worst case scenarios, you might find that your employees have a lot of headaches and fail to come into work. It is clearly important to make sure that your new office has decent lighting before you let anyone work there.
Hopefully, this will usually be a pretty simple fix. It will probably just mean that you need to replace the lights that are up, or even just the bulbs. At other times, you might need to completely strip out and rewire new lighting in to ensure that all parts of the office are covered. As long as the lighting is sufficient, your employees are going to be looked after much more, and suffer less from working in your office.
There are few safety concerns more important than potential electrical faults, given that at the very worst end of the scale it can cause death. When you are moving into a new office, this is one of the first and most important things you need to check, to ensure that you don’t cause any harm to be done to any of your employees, partners or guests to the office. You need to look into this as early as possible, and definitely before anyone actually starts working there.
Of course, you should not check it yourself, but rather you should hire an electrician to do so for you, as doing it yourself could be dangerous. Make sure you get them to check the entire system in the office and that they fix any issues that they find. This is a non-negotiable part of setting up in a new office, so make sure that you don’t overlook it. You should also ensure that you get the electrician to return every six months or so, just to check that everything is still safe and in perfect working order.
In a similar vein to the electrics, you should also make sure that you have the plumbing checked out too. Although it might not be quite as serious as faulty electrics, pipe problems can still pose a problem and could cause some safety issues if they are left untreated. In the worst case, you might even end up with flooding in the office – and if that is combined with electrical problems, then that is likely going to be a recipe for disaster. As you can see, this is really important.
Again, the solution is to call in the professionals to take a look, and to fix anything that might be out of place. Do this before anyone starts working there to ensure that you avoid any serious emergencies.
Nobody wants to be caught in a fire. That much goes without saying. One of your main priorities as a manager is to ensure that the office is safe from fire as far as is possible. There are two main routes you need to follow here: preventing fires from breaking out, and making sure that you are well equipped to deal with it if it does happen anyway. Both are essential, and you should make sure that you do whatever is necessary in both cases just to make sure.
In order to prevent fire, you need to make sure you have decent and strong protocols in place for how to behave in the workplace. That avoids any silly behavior causing a fire, which is vital. You also need to make sure that electrical faults are dealt with promptly, as above, and that your people are trained in fire safety as well as possible, and regularly too. That should hopefully prevent the majority of fires.
No matter what, occasionally fires do break out in offices, and it is essential to make sure that your staff know what to do if that happens. That is where the training comes in, and particularly training around what steps to take if there is a fire. That’s why fire drills are so important, and not to be overlooked. You should also make sure that you stock your new office up with all of the necessary equipment: fire extinguishers and so on, as well as making sure there are fire doors in place and so on too, and that fire exits are never blocked.
As long as you do all that, you can say you are doing everything possible to both prevent fires in your new office, and deal with them if they occur as well as possible.
Poor air quality is related to a number of health and safety issues. Notably, it can lead to your employees having breathing problems or other health issues, and you need to make sure that you are avoiding this as well as you can. That means taking a look at the ventilation system, and ensuring that it is maintained as well as possible at all times. This will also help in preventing the spread of illnesses and diseases, which is especially important during a global pandemic such as the coronavirus pandemic. On top of that, a general cleanliness is vital too, so make sure that you clean the office well before anyone starts working there, and regularly thereafter. It all makes a difference.
If you do all that, your employees are going to be safer and your office is going to be a much better place to work in many ways. Make sure that you don’t overlook any of these important concerns.