If you are an office-based business company, you might be forgiven for thinking that your workplace is a safe place for your workers. After all, what could go wrong when you only have a small team and work in a safe environment?
Well, the answer to that question is quite a lot. In fact, most accidents at work occur in the humble office. It accounts for much of the billions of dollars accidents cost businesses every year. Here are the top five accidents at work – and how to protect yourself against them.
Violence in the workplace
As surprising as it might seem, violence in the workplace is more common than you think. But, when you look at the high-pressure environments that many companies operate these days, it makes perfect sense. People snap in life, and when it occurs in the workplace, there is every chance it could result in a violent incident. Your best bet for protecting against an incident is to ensure that everyone is open and honest about their feelings. Also, have a system in place so that people can report incidents before they escalate.
Repetitive motion injury
In an office environment, a lot of people will be making the same movements every day. Typing, for example, or using a mouse on their computer. They will also sit in the same position for hours on end, often with bad posture. The result? Repetitive motion injury. It can occur in the hands, wrists, neck or back – and anywhere else that bears the strain of repetition. Make sure that you train all your staff in how to sit with a good posture, and invest in ergonomic chairs, tables, and equipment.
Slips, trips, and falls
Slips, trips, and falls are the biggest cause of accidents in the workplace. And, they are just as prevalent in an office as they are in a factory of a construction site. And, if someone suffers a serious injury, you can expect a lawsuit coming your way if your business was at fault. Make sure that people understand the importance of keeping passages clear. Also, that they sign off their responsibilities for keeping the office safe. Also, have a robust accident reporting policy in place. If a legal action does occur, you will need all the evidence you can to prove you were not responsible.
People do silly things – it’s just the way of the world. They will stand on a table and chair to switch a light bulb, instead of finding a stepladder. They will run when they should walk. They will leave their safety equipment off when they are doing a quick task. And, unsurprisingly, this is when accidents tend to happen. Ensure that your health and safety policy includes excellent training. It’s vital employees understand the importance of acting safely at all times.
Finally, make sure that all your equipment and machinery in your office is working properly. Arrange regular maintenance, and train everyone on how to use every single device. Sure, they might just be computers, or shredders, or fax machines. But, there is a risk of being caught or electrocution – and it happens more often than you might think.