22nd November 2019

Eight safety rules for working in an office

Millions of people around the world have an office job which entails sitting at a desk for most of the day. In the office environment, it’s important to make sure that all employees are protected by health and safety rules to prevent injury and health issues.

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It was recorded that 1.4 million[1] people suffered from work related illness throughout 2017/18 in the UK alone, with 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury over this period. Many of these incidents may have been prevented if the correct safety strategies were in place for office workers to adhere to in the workplace. As a reminder, here are eight safety rules that should be followed in every office.

Practice good posture

Bad posture can affect your physical health just as severely as a sudden injury. If you are slouched at your desk over a long period of time, it can cause issues with your muscles and joints that may mean you need time off work, physiotherapy and could even lead to long-term health problems.

To help maintain good posture, sit upright in your chair and position monitors and screens at eye-level to avoid neck strain. As well as this, taking regular breaks to walk around and stretch throughout the day will prevent headaches and muscle ache if you are looking at a screen for several hours.

Keep equipment locked away safely

Taking your laptop and personal equipment home at the end of the day will save you any worry from leaving them in the office overnight, but for other costly office equipment make sure it is safely stored away at the end of each day; not only will this save space, but this will prevent trips and falls which may happen if equipment is left around the office space. Safety padlocks from Reece Safety will come in handy to make sure your valuables are safe over night when the office is unattended.

Be careful when carrying items

If your position requires you to carry or lift weight, only carry as much as you can comfortably manage. The recommended weight for men to carry is 25kg and for women, it’s 16kg, but this may be too heavy depending on your build and strength, so always ensure that you’re not straining yourself by carrying too much as this can result in serious injury.

It is also important to have the relevant training in how to lift heavier objects safely, before attempting to do so.

Report any unsafe hazards

Whether this is a leak, broken chair or faulty switch, it’s important to report any hazardous issues to your manager before it causes someone harm. Due to the amount of electricity used throughout an office, leaks and exposed wires are highly hazardous if left unreported.

Look after electrical equipment

Office spaces rely on electrical equipment in their day to day running, so make sure laptops, monitors and printers do not have exposed wires which may cause trips and falls. Also ensure that liquids are kept away from electrical equipment to prevent spillages and electric shocks.

Be cautious of spam and infectious emails

Internet safety is key in the office, with every email address vulnerable to scam emails that can cause irreversible issues. Always be wary when opening an email from an unknown address and never click on external links within the email if you have any concerns.

Follow fire safety procedures

In the instance of a fire and to prevent it from spreading, ensure that all fire doors are closed, with a regular fire alarm test in place in your office to keep the safety of staff paramount. Follow the fire safety rules of your building and, in the case of a fire emergency, leave as swiftly and safely as possible through your emergency exit.

Make your health a priority

Make your mental and physical health a priority in your everyday life by practicing self-care, which will also prevent burn out in the workplace. It is important that each employee is healthy and happy in their work and personal life, so that each member of the team can perform well and enjoy their role.

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/

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