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Reducing Risk in Office-based Firms

February 7, 2017

While offices are typically devoid of severe life-threatening hazards, that does not excuse your company from supporting a feckless health and safety policy. In fact, that kind of lackadaisical approach may instead create unsafe working conditions and contribute to poor health and safety in office-based companies—directly contributing to workplace injuries. For that reason, it is essential that your company conducts a comprehensive risk assessment at least once a year.

When conducting your inspection, here are five of the most prominent hazards that you should be aware of:

  1. Slips and trips
  2. Manual handling of paper and standard office equipment
  3. Display screen equipment
  4. Stress
  5. Lone working

To address any identified health and safety risks, here are five straightforward and effective risk management strategies:

  1. Utilise the HSE office risk assessment tool, which can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/office.htm.
  2. Review Business in the Community’s (BITC) free Mental Health for Employers toolkit to help support employee mental health and well-being, found at http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/all-resources/toolkits/mental-health-employers.
  3. Use the HSE’s Management Standards for work-related stress, which can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards.
  4. Encourage your employees to take a five-minute break every hour to get up, stretch and relax their muscles. In addition, they should take three one- to two-minute breaks each hour to exercise their eyes by focusing on a distant object and then on a nearby object.
  5. Implement a safe work practice that ensures that an employee never conducts a potentially unsafe task alone—such as visiting potential and current clients.
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