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Office Health and Safety Best Practice and Training

Posted on Thursday, 11th October 2018

Office Health and Safety Best Practice and Training

Office health and safety is perhaps more overlooked than any other type of working environments because managers or business owners may think there is little or no risk to employees. While it’s true that the risks are not as serious as those faced by construction workers, for example, there are still plenty of hazards in the average office.

Let's take a look at some of the hazards, how to minimise risk and how office health and safety training can help contribute to a harm-free and healthy workplace.

Office Hazards

Office environments are usually considered low-risk when it comes to safety but that doesn’t mean you, or your employees should be complacent. There are numerous health and safety hazards in an office which need to be monitored and controlled.

Here are some common hazards that can be found in most offices:

  • Poor or inadequate lighting - could lead to a trip or fall
  • Ergonomic hazards – can cause health problems
  • Temperature extremes – may cause illness
  • Manual handling – one of the leading causes of back injuries
  • Slip, trip and fall hazards – could result in a variety of injuries
  • Electrical hazards – a danger of electrocution
  • Contagious illnesses – leads to other staff becoming sick
  • Fire hazards – could result in serious injury or loss of life
  • Chemical hazards – may cause injuries or skin conditions
  • Stress hazards – can cause long-term illness or absence

The hazards listed above can vary between different businesses and like any other workplace, you will need to identify which ones are applicable and then implement control measures to reduce the risk of accidents. The first step in this process is a risk assessment.  

Image shows office workers in discussion.

Minimising the Risk of Accidents in an Office

Risk Assessment 

As an employer, you are legally obliged to carry out a risk assessment. A risk assessment will help you identify hazards and reduce the risk of accidents. A risk assessment should identify hazards that present a risk to you, your employees or the public. You then need to record any findings and the processes you put in place to reduce risks.

The process of conducting a risk assessment is not difficult and you do not need outside help to do it, you know your business and should be able to record details accurately. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided information on managing risks and risk assessment at work. You can find it here.

Health and Safety Policy 

Once your risk assessment has been completed, the finding will help you put together a health and safety policy for your office. The purpose of the policy is to express your commitment to health and safety. It will also include a statement about the responsibilities of supervisors and other employees.

Your policy will also set out what you intend to do, in practical terms, to help you achieve your health and safety aims. Measures put in place can include health and safety training for your staff or completely removing what hazards you can.

Staff Training and Inductions 

Whenever a new employee joins your company, you should ensure they are given a thorough health and safety induction. While there are fewer risks within an office environment, it’s still important that all your employees are aware of hazards, understand your policy and procedures, and get off to a great start. This will help you to fulfil your legal obligations as an employer.

Staff training is also an excellent way to boost your office safety culture. Elect designated ‘safety champions’ and make sure that all employees understand how safety needs to be incorporated into their everyday work life.

Image shows overloaded plug sockets in office.

Office Health and Safety Training

For employers who want to ensure that all employees have a thorough understanding of office safety, then a training course is the ideal way to do that.

Essential Site Skills facilitate an excellent course for anyone who works in an office, including managers, supervisors, full-time and part-time employees. The course is designed as an introductory level and so no prerequisite training or knowledge is required.

Hosted at one of our training centres, the one-day course is available to both businesses and members of the public.

Our nationwide Office Health and Safety Course covers the following areas:

  • Statistics and injury awareness within the office environment
  • Health and Safety Law including employer and employee responsibilities
  • Training, information and instruction
  • Risk
  • Common hazards within the office environment
  • Slips and trips
  • Electrical Safety
  • Manual handling with practical demonstration and imitation
  • Ladders and step ladder safety
  • Electrical safety, cabling, extensions and Pat testing. Including photocopier and shredder
  • safety
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Wellbeing and stress prevention
  • Accident and reporting

Download the full course information here and then give us a call on 0115 8970 529 to book a place.