Sep 12

Office Safety as a Key Part of Risk Management

There are several major facets that comprise the vital realm of risk management for any business, and safety is always at or near the top of any such list. For any office space, facility or other business location, ensuring safety and avoiding hazards is a vital employer responsibility - and there are a few key facets to keep an eye on here.

At Integrated Companies, risk management is just one of numerous employer HR solutions we manage for companies around Utah, a list that also includes payroll, recruitment, benefits, job costing and more. Let's have a look at why safety is such a vital concept for any business space, plus some of the most common kinds of office injuries or hazards and how you can be sure to steer clear of them at all times.

Why Office Safety is So Vital

There are several major reasons why office safety should be a top priority for any business:

  • Culture and recruitment: A positive safety culture is increasingly seen as important not only for employee morale and well-being, but also in the larger recruitment process. Potential employees will often consider a company's safety record when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer.
  • Insurance costs: Some insurers may use the results from your safety inspection or audit as part of their risk assessment when setting your insurance costs. This means that, by taking extra steps to ensure a safe work environment, you could be saving yourself money in the long run. Avoiding workers' compensation liabilities due to a hazardous office also helps keep costs down.
  • OSHA requirements: Another major factor is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) requirement that businesses provide a safe working environment free of any known dangers. Not only will an OSHA violation result in hefty fines, but it also puts your entire business at risk if you fail to comply.
  • Productivity and well-being: Lastly, safety in the workplace has a direct impact on employee productivity and well-being. If an employee feels safe and secure in their job environment, they are more likely to be productive and engaged with their work. Conversely, if an employee feels unsafe or threatened at any point, it can lead to stress, anxiety and even physical injury.

So what are some of the common kinds of hazards or risks you should be cognizant of in your space? Our next several sections will look into this.

Tripping, Slipping or Other Falls

While you may think of issues like slipping and falling as more common in places like public bathrooms, they can still occur in office spaces. Furthermore, because they're often unexpected, they can be particularly dangerous.

There are several concepts to keep in mind as an employer to prevent these kinds of incidents:

  • Proper flooring: Make sure that your floors are in good condition and free from rips, tears or any other damage. Also be sure to check for uneven flooring and replace it if need be.
  • Adequate lighting: Poorly lit areas can lead to slipping or tripping injuries if someone isn't able to see a particular hazard until it's too late. Be sure to check the lighting in all areas of your office space regularly.
  • Regular maintenance: Checking for any potential hazards on a regular basis is key to keeping everyone safe. This includes checking carpets and flooring, electrical cords, and other common workplace items that can present a danger.
  • Cleaning: If any spills or messes occur on your floor, be sure to clean them up immediately. Not only does this help keep the office space looking neat and tidy, it also helps prevent any risks associated with slipping or tripping over a wet surface.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

While not necessarily confined to the office environment, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can occur in any workplace. These occur from activities that require repeated movements or motions, such as typing, using a mouse or other tools, operating machinery and more.

To help reduce the risk of RSI, employers should provide employees with ergonomic furniture and equipment that fits their body type and posture. Having an adjustable chair, keyboard tray or footrest can be helpful in reducing stress on the body, as can providing employees with adequate breaks.

Electrical Dangers

In any office environment, electrical hazards are a major concern. From overloaded outlets to frayed cords or exposed wiring, these types of incidents can cause serious injury or even death if not handled properly.

Employers should conduct regular inspections to check for any potential dangers, and make sure to replace any frayed or damaged cords immediately. Additionally, employers should make sure their outlets are up to code and not overloaded with too many electronics plugged in at once.

Overall, office safety is a key part of risk management and an important responsibility for any employer. By keeping these points in mind and following OSHA standards, you can help ensure a safe and productive workplace for all of your employees.

At Integrated Companies, we understand that safety is paramount in any business environment and are dedicated to helping employers create the most effective risk management strategy possible. Contact us today to learn more about our employer HR solutions for businesses around Utah!