Office safety? What’s the risk?

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Offices are generally low risk environments, but there still remains a potential for injury and ill health. In the office, physical hazards may arise for example, from maintenance and alteration works, electrical equipment, trailing leads, space constraints and wet floors. Health hazards may be a significant risk, in particular, stress and ergonomic factors. There are also the less frequently occurring hazards of fire and security threats which must be accounted for in risk management arrangements and emergency plans.

Every employer must conduct risk assessments to cover their work activities and, where they have five or more employees, the significant findings of those assessments must be written down. For a simple office environment, you should consider for example:

  • Display screen equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Noise (particularly in plant rooms)
  • Temperature, lighting and ventilation
  • Welfare facilities
  • Fire safety and other emergencies
  • Electrical safety
  • Office chemicals
  • Legionnaire’s disease
  • Asbestos (if present in the workplace)
  • Controlling contractors
  • Working at height
  • Lifts and other plant equipment
  • Gas safety
  • Stress
  • Artificial optical radiation (such as intense light and lasers)

If you don’t have any risk assessments in place the Avensure health and safety team can help, you can contact the team on the client advice line: 0800 151 2935.

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Elena Boura