June is National Safety Month, and ADD STAFF wants you to stay a little safer by considering some of the typical office hazards that are common causes of workplace injuries every day. There are tens of thousands of injuries each year in even our fancy climate-controlled office spaces that don’t appear on the surface to be hazardous. Here’s how to keep your employees a little safer by watching out for these common office hazards.
Most Common Office Hazards and How to Prevent Them
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are the number one most common OSHA reportable event in a non-industrial setting. One-third of all workers’ compensation claims are the result of these incidents. These often occur from:
- Slipping on a just-washed floor or an oily surface, loose rugs, items left in walkways, and icy steps and walkways.
- Tripping on uncovered cables or uneven surfaces, cluttered areas, or areas with poor lighting.
To mitigate these risks, make sure your exterior ramps, walkways, and steps into the building are always free and clear even during inclement weather situations. Ice-melting products, show shoveling, and clearing your parking lots are all critical to helping manage the safety of your visitors and employees. Inside, spills should always be cleaned up quickly, and signage for areas just mopped should be used. All office walkways should be cleared and electrical or equipment cords should not be stretched across aisles and carpets should be tacked to the floor.
Other common causes of office workplace injuries are repetitive motion disorders and other ergonomic issues. Office workers spend long hours sitting at their desks and working on computers. This creates illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, or other musculoskeletal disorders. Currently, there are more than 100 different injuries attributed to repetitive motion common to office settings. This costs employers 30% of the $50 billion spent annually on workers’ compensation claims.
To mitigate these risks, invest in adjustable chairs, keyboards, and desks that can accommodate a wide range of work styles. Consider stand up desks and encourage employees to use them. Also, make workplace mobility and stretching part of your healthy office culture. Encourage employees to take breaks frequently and move around.
Eye strain from staring at the computer all day can cause vision issues. Your eyes can become irritated and have trouble focusing, so a workplace with the right kind of lighting is important. Cut down on computer glare by closing the blinds on windows and dimming overhead lights. Make sure monitors are large and easy to see and adjust them to be slightly below eye level, which minimizes screen glare. For ergonomics and eyestrain, OSHA recommends a 10-minute break for every hour spent looking at a computer screen.
Finally, fire safety is a big issue. The data shows companies lose $643 million annually in property damage caused by fire. Fire safety awareness is everyone’s responsibility in your office, so talk with your employees about ways to reduce this risk. Your local fire marshal may be able to help by consulting with you on ways to improve, as well. Some simple tips include:
- Check power cords regularly for wear and tear and replace them if you see any signs of exposed wires.
- Do not overload power outlets and make sure your extension cords are high quality and approved by a certifying laboratory.
- If you use space heaters, make sure they have an automatic shutoff switch that cuts off power if they tip over. Observe where these units are located and make sure they’re not near anything that is combustible, such as paper.
Contact Us Today!
ADD STAFF wants your business to thrive and stay a little safer this year. We are proud to partner with our clients to provide them with safety-conscious employees that get the job done. Talk with our team about how we can help your business.