Health and safety essentials for offices

Posted: 17th January 2018 11:48

Ensuring that your office adheres to the required health and safety standards is not only key for staff safety but also a legal requirement. As such, it is essential that you take the necessary steps to make your premises safe for anyone who works there or visits. By the same token, if you work in an office as an employee, then you should also take these responsibilities seriously.
You may even be the nominated health and safety representative for your area, responsible for making sure that the office is kept to the legal benchmarks set. Even as an employee with no specific role to play, you should still do all that you can to find out about the health and safety requirements and implement them at your workstation.
If you are a business owner or employee, then here are some health and safety tips and information for your office in terms of the premises themselves.
Make sure that the office is made from the correct materials
Naturally, you should make sure that your office is made from materials that are fire safe to protect staff and visitors. Fire-resistant glass is a great example of this and should be installed if possible. The increased protection that this type of glass gives is superb and used widely in products such as fire doors. The Wholesale Glass Company stocks a wide choice of this fire-resistant glass if your office needs it.
Emergency lighting
If the worst does happen and you need to evacuate the office building quickly, then functioning emergency lighting is key. If there is a fire or an explosion and the usual lighting is broken, people need to be able to navigate to safety. Emergency lighting uses a battery rather than mains power and so serves this purpose when needed. It should be a definite part of your health and safety plans if not already.
First aid kits
Another key component of occupational health and safety is making sure that your office has the required number of first aid kits in easy-to-access locations. Make sure that all staff know where they are and who the named first aider is to contact in case of injury. Regularly check all your first aid kits to make sure that everything is in date and nothing that you might need has gone missing.
Display the necessary information publicly
If your business employs any staff, then you are required by law to publicly display the health and safety law poster in a prominent position. This poster gives staff and visitors all the information about health and safety law that they need to know or wondered about. You can also give staff the equivalent pocket card with the details on rather than displaying in poster form.
Health and safety essentials for staff
Whether you run the business or simply work there, knowing the essential tips in this area on a personal level is key.
Keep your workspace tidy
Clutter is the enemy of an effective health and safety plan! Make sure to avoid leaving boxes or objects on the floor that people may trip over. Any boxes or files should be stored away on a shelf or cupboard to help avoid this. You should also pay attention to any trailing wires and make sure that they are tidied up to avoid a trip hazard.
Pay attention to your posture
One area of health and safety that affects all staff is the risk of physical injury from incorrect posture when at your desk. Take the time to adjust your seat so that it suits you as an individual – your back should be well supported in the lumbar region and you should not be slouched. In addition, ensure that your feet can touch the floor and that your wrists are properly aligned when typing to avoid problems.
Take a break!
One of the best pieces of advice concerning health and safety is to take regular breaks from your desk and computer. This will allow you to move around during the day and avoid sitting at your desk for prolonged periods of time. It will also avoid any repetitive strain injuries to your eyes that overuse of a computer may cause.
Health and safety is vital
Though it can be an area that many don’t appreciate, health and safety in an office is key. Not only are you legally required to meet the set standards, but it is also a wise long-term investment in your business. Following health and safety law will mean that you will have a happier, healthier bunch of employees with less time off sick. As a worker, it will give you a pleasant place in which to work that will not harm your health in the long run.