How to Keep Yourself Safe at Work

How can you stay safe at work, and when should you seek advice from a legal professional?

While working in an office is by no means the most dangerous work environment, it is a mistake to ignore the potential dangers and risks present in an office. If your employer is not diligent about providing a safe, clean, and tidy work environment and does not keep on top of potential hazards, they are putting you, your colleagues, and their business (if an employee takes legal action after an injury in the workplace) at risk. This article outlines the potential dangers to keep in mind when working in an office to help you stay safe and well, several of which are often ‘hidden’ or regarded as insignificant until it is too late.

Tripping, falling, or slipping

No one expects to trip or fall, but it is one of the most common causes of injuries sustained in the workplace. This is usually because offices are full of equipment, objects, steps, uneven flooring, and multiple types of flooring, i.e., carpeted areas immediately next to hard flooring. Keeping an office tidy is everyone’s responsibility to an extent, but if an employee trips or falls because an employer has been negligent or failed to maintain the premises, they can be held responsible. If you have been injured after falling, tripping, or slipping, you may be entitled to compensation, so it is essential to seek workplace injury advice from a legal professional.

Unhygienic conditions

Office workers are notorious for coming down with colds and the flu, and this is because when one person brings in germs they will travel from person to person very quickly. This leads to reduced productivity and increased absences. While it is almost impossible to prevent germs from entering the workplace, we can take steps to prevent the spread. For example, regular hand-washing and cleaning of surfaces, door handles, keyboards, and printers, etc., will reduce germ levels. It is important that your staff clear up after themselves as they often make a mess when using shared facilities, but professional cleaners should also be cleaning the office on a regular basis.

There has been a significant increase in the number of office workers working remotely, and this has been proven to reduce the number of sick days taken by employees. So, if you have a cold or illness that does not prevent you from being able to work but you want to avoid spreading your illness to others, try to work from home when possible.

Strains, injuries, and pains

Sitting at a desk and using a computer all day can lead to short and long-term problems for office workers. Without ergonomic and supportive chairs that can be adjusted to suit the height of the individual, as well as height adjustable desks, workers are at risk of developing injuries and strain due to poor posture or repetitive movements. Employers should ensure that they carry out a Display Screen Equipment Assessment and workstation check for each employee to assess their needs.

Back pain, for example, is one of the most common complaints that can cause people serious problems. Computer screens that are too dull or too bright can lead to headaches or vision problems over time.

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