Archive for June, 2020

10 Safety Ideas for Office Workers

Written by admin on June 9, 2020. Posted in Articles

Most people who work a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are haunted by safety concerns as their offices return to a type of normality. Along with preventing the pandemic’s spread, there are important measures to stay safe at the office. Every company needs to comply with legal requirements to ensure that their workplace is safe for employees, visitors, customers, contractors, suppliers, or volunteers. But besides the legal requirements, safety ideas for office workers are critical to the long-term success of any business.

A safe workplace will help retain staff, minimize sick days, maximize productivity, reduce the cost of compensations, and improve the workplace atmosphere as it shows the company cares about everyone.

Check out these ideas for preventing accidents, maintaining health, and repairing issues when they arise.

Water:

Water is essential at this time. Think about the importance of plumbing to safety right now. Running water is vital to wash our hands and possibly items at the office. Because plumbing is essential, available plumbers are easy to find. Be sure everything is working, because problems such as sewer line backups are prone to happen in the summer. Plus, the last thing you want when you’re stuck at home is a dysfunctional toilet. Just be sure to follow social distancing protocols when the contractors come over. Check out this listicle for more safety ideas for office workers when it comes to renovations.

Another fact of water safety is the need for drinking water. What counts as drinking water? It must not have concentrations of any parasite or microorganism, any substance when mixed with another material that could result in potential danger, nor any part of non-living organisms such as leaves, insects, and many other more. It also considered safe drinking water if the level of nitrate divided by 50, plus the level of nitrite divided by three, is less than one.

The most common way to provide water to employees is jug water systems. These can be either stainless steel or an aluminum model. Floor-standing models are usually more expensive than the smaller ones placed on countertops. These can be heavy, of course, as they are gallons of water. However, the upside is these water systems usually offer natural spring water (read: safer). In some cases, however, distilled, fluoridated, or demineralized water is the type they serve. To keep this and/or sink water safe, you could invest in a water filtration system.

This will get rid of impurities like heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, and even bacteria. Or, if we’re considering more safety ideas for office workers one can look into providing bottled water at the office. However, these are not great for the environment. Regardless, water is important to consider when we talk about safety ideas for office workers because hydration at work leads to more energy, more production, and ultimately better health for everyone. Our brains are composed of around 70 percent water (and our bodies are about 50 to 75% water).

Therefore, dehydration can cause short-term memory loss, or interrupt one’s ability to interpret visual information. Dehydrated employees will take more time to focus and concentrate on their tasks. One experiment proved that water helps with stress, too. People in one experiment who were able to drink water during a presentation gave more creative ideas. Dehydration also causes headaches and can lower one’s mood. Safety ideas for office workers should consider that the Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 2.7 liters, or 91 ounces, of water each day, and that men consume 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily.

Earth:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. Can you imagine getting everyone back at the office – and then someone slips, causing a lawsuit in this recession? Consider speaking with some lawyers who are used to working with things like a slip and fall accident to learn how to avoid them.

They can teach you some helpful tips to learn about the myriad situations that may cause slips, trips, and falls as we weigh safety ideas for office workers. For example, wet floors are only one cause. Dry floors with dust or powder on them, or uneven walking surfaces, or loose carpeting, sloped walking surfaces, and even simple clutter can lead to an accident. Avoid leaving supplies or obstacles in aisles
and walkways.

Some things your eye might ignore which could be hazardous on the ground include boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, phone cords, coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands. Secure loose rugs with tape or remove them. Repair loose floorboards as soon as possible. Maintain bright, proper lighting. Also, look into wet area rubber mats for employee safety. These can absorb water and dirt in the kitchen or bathroom area. With the proper strategic placement, it can be a lifesaver.

Again, simply preventing a fall is the most direct way to ensure safety. There are other types of floor mats that can also make your workplace safer. Or, if you think you yourself are prone to falling, perhaps see your doctor. Think about what medications you’re taking, how often you fall, and look into eye or ear disorders that could be increasing your chance of falling.

Some safety ideas for office workers to prevent these health risks are to keep moving, wear good shoes, and remove hazards. Physical activity can do wonders toward fall prevention. Walking, water workouts, or classes for things like tai chi are some activities to reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Shoes should not be floppy slippers or high heels if this is a concern. Plus, comfortable shoes can also reduce joint pain.

Finally, if this is a huge concern, it could be worth it do install things, such as handrails at the office, or at least bring canes or support to work. Other installation safety ideas for office workers to prevent falls include nonslip treads for bare-wood steps, a raised toilet seat or one with armrests, and grab bars handicapped restroom stalls.

Air:

Yes, there are safety concerns for every element! The third consideration on our list is air conditioning and indoor air quality.

Many office jobs, like your typical accounting job where you’re stuffed into a small space, will require that you breathe the same indoor air all day. If the company doesn’t have a good air filtration system, airborne pollutants could float into your system. Especially when the nation is dealing with a pandemic that affects the lungs, now is not the time to skip things like an air purifier.

Air filtration can’t fix every indoor air quality problem though. Biological pollutants such as bacteria or viruses can require things like UV air purifiers or dehumidifiers. When you want to improve indoor air quality, you’ll have to invest in the best ductwork, HVAC systems, and air filtration systems.

Finding the best replacement windows can also be a huge help, especially if you don’t have window screens or are coping with older window models. Bring in some fresh air so that office employees aren’t breathing the same germs constantly.

Fire:

Any commercial property could be targeted with fires right now, or at least susceptible to accidental fires. One tip in this regard is to make sure there is accessible equipment. Make sure all of your fire extinguishers and control panels are readily accessible. Don’t block the fire sprinklers, either.

Another safety idea would be to have rules in place about proper disposal. All hazardous waste should be discarded into a metal container with a lid. Hazardous waste includes oils, chemicals, paints, and more. If the office has hazardous materials that are not trash, these should be safely stored. Keep these items in a dry, secure place with ventilation. Both the disposal area and any area keeping dangerous materials should be clearly marked with signs that can inform all employees to be careful. There are legal, regulatory signs to warn about actions and measurements. They are subdivided as prohibition signs, mandatory signs, restriction signs, or general hazard signs (which likewise are subdivided as danger signs, warning signs, or emergency information signs).

That’s not to say you can leave other items just laying around! Keep the building clear of flammable materials and clutter. Avoid running electrical cords under the carpet or through doorways and windows. Definitely don’t fasten them with unapproved devices, like staples. Also, consider investing in building security if arson is a concern. This tags along with the fact that you should have an emergency plan in place.

Finally, designate a specific area for smoking. It should be a safe distance away from the building. You can provide ashtrays too for people to properly dispose of cigarettes. Just in case there ever is an emergency, it may be helpful to have some health care equipment supplies handy at the office.

More:

These may be the most important safety ideas for office workers, but there’s a lot more to think about. You can hire the best business coach for more tips.

For example, have you considered safety in the company parking lot? Having resources such as a vehicle lock out service handy can save your coworkers if they’re leaving work late and got themselves into a pinch.

Also, consider talking with the company about safety ideas for office workers. Perhaps having some policies in place can help everyone. One rule could be to make sure desks are ergonomic. Ergonomic means relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. A neutral and safe posture can prevent back injury, spinal stenosis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

The correct position allows for one’s head to be centered over the neck and shoulders, with wrists flat and elbows resting at one’s side. If the desk won’t allow a seated employee’s feet to touch the ground unless they lean forward, they should use a footrest. But remember, one size does not fit all in an office workstation. More safety ideas for office workers sitting at a desk should include options of adjustability. This includes hairs, work surfaces, and monitor stands.

Allow yourself, or your employees, a variety of options. These can be great investments. “A good keyboard tray may retail around $300; a good chair may retail around $500 to $700,” said Sonia Paquette, professional ergonomist and doctor of occupational therapy. She points out that the cost of the health claims that stem from not having these devices is much higher than the cost of investing in them. “Some of these hard claims cost many tens of thousands of dollars just of medical treatment, let alone the cost of the replacement, absenteeism, loss of work production, etc.”

She recommends you also consider where your mouse is, and look into buying a document holder if you want to provide many safety ideas for office workers. One may suffer from neck strain if you are forced to repeatedly look up and down to the desk and back to the computer screen. You can provide document holders to reduce this strain. They’re cheap and eliminate excessive cervical motion and help to prevent muscle imbalances. Document holders also are great for your eyes, according to the St. Louis-based American Optometric Association. And, keep reference materials close to the monitor to reduce the way your eyes have to refocus as you glance from the document to the monitor.

Along with this, more safety ideas for office workers should include encouraging regular breaks to move around and reduce one’s risk for heart health problems. The company can post a warm-up and stretching guide for easy exercises to do at work.

Along with healthy physical activity comes hand in hand healthy eating. The company should have rules around the kitchen. For example, clean your eating spaces before and after eating. Keep foods stored securely. Heat up food when possible to burn off germs, and wash fruits or vegetables before chowing down. It’s not always a bad idea to wear gloves when your hands are near your face.