A typical office is usually not seen as an overly dangerous environment, yet there are many risks and occupational safety hazards lurking there. There are no shortcuts to take or workarounds to make use of here. The path ahead is dotted with small steps that pay rich dividends in the long run. So, those who are still in denial must realize that maintaining a safe work environment is essential for the healthy and sustainable development of a company as a whole.
In a nutshell, the effort to make an office safer revolves around following safety standards and communicating them to everyone. First off, businesses must adhere to the local, state, and federal guidelines for workplace safety. To this, most companies adopt a plan that not only meets but also exceeds industry standards. Going down this road requires you to dive into workplace injury statistics and familiarize yourself with the common risks that plague offices.
Furthermore, bear in mind that unless you get everyone familiar with it, your plan is not worth the paper it is written on. So, a traditional, pyramidal communication strategy does not cut it. Instead, adopt a different kind of business mindset, one that perceives employees as active participants in the process. Let the staff provide you with ideas and suggestion for improving overall safety. What is more, take action and keep security policies, practices, and procedures on top of everyone’s mind. Display signs (such as “slippery floor”), fire escape maps, and emergency plans.
Grasp the big picture, the layout of the business. Make an effort to keep the clutter and mess at bay. Put boxes and other objects out of the way, in proper storage to facilitate the free and interrupted flow of traffic. This overhaul minimizes the occurrence of perilous slips, falls, and trips. Ensure that workers are alert to the machinery at all times and aware of potentially hazardous areas. Moving heavy objects is also one of the obvious activities that call for caution, but note that it is just one of many. People presume that copiers and cleaning supplies involve no risk, alas, this is not true.
Furthermore, get down to house cleaning in a more literate sense and promote good hygiene. Come up with a maintenance plan see it through every month. Employ natural filters like plants as well as commercial-grade products to reduce air pollution, which can be a great threat to the health and well-being of everyone. You will have fewer people getting sick and missing work. Along the similar lines employ ergonomic furniture to mitigate the physical impact of long hours of doing work and thwart neck and back pain. Oh, I know this one may sound counterintuitive, but health-wise, one of the biggest risks is prolonged sitting. Another thing you can do is to allow workers to take regular breaks and alleviate stress and work fatigue.
Above and beyond
Upon visiting many impeccable office interiors and seeing many designs, I realized how many moving parts have to be factored in when figuring out security. In the ideal case, you have professional monitoring policies and a system in place. It has multiple layers of security, including surveillance cameras and walk-through metal detectors.
These features enable quick response in case of an emergency situation and ramp up crime and fire prevention capacities of your facility. Of course, something like this requires a substantial investment of money, but rest assured that there are many reasons to step up and take safety issues seriously. Among them, we would underline boosting employee morale and guarding against any liability as well as monetary blows. There are also many studies that confirm that a safe work environment takes employee satisfaction and productivity to the next level. Namely, your workers are stimulated to be at their best and walk an extra mile. Finally, you can communicate the benefits of working in your particular facility to attract top talent.
Work Environment: Raise the bar
Despite the absence of heavy machinery, offices can be fraught with many dangers. Therefore, workplace safety isn’t optional: It is an absolute must for any type of business. It all starts with awareness, but it must not end there. So, educate yourself and implement best practices and gain an edge over the competition. You can go a step further and ensure that your offices are soundproof. Noise-canceling is important if you wish for your employees’ health, sanity and productivity to stay intact. You can research a bit on the topic and you will find many interesting and easy ways of eliminating distractions, from nicely-looking perforated plasterboard installation to acoustic panels, ear plugs, silent gadgets and so on.
Assemble a compliant work environment that puts everyone’s mind at ease. Make your employees feel great about coming to an office and keep them engaged every step of the way. You will feel the rising tide of productivity and motivation lifting all your company’s boats.
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also likes sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.