It looks like a typical day in the office where everyone is busy in front of their computers. But, employees working indoors are not exempt from injuries, accidents, illnesses, and related incidents. Threats of every form abound, from natural calamities, intentional acts, to workplace conditions, that can put yourself and everyone else at risk.
As a business owner or leader, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your team members. The process starts with identifying and controlling these hazards with the involvement of the employees to gain their full support and cooperation. It also helps to review and improve these policies.
What are the specific steps you can include to your relevant programs for a place conducive to the work and well-being of every person in the company?
1. Deal with Falls
Falls can still happen in deemed low-risk workplaces like offices. You can trip over cables and wires, bump into objects or drawers that cause you to fall, or slip on a wet floor.
You can prevent such situations from happening by stowing cables and wires underneath the table or anywhere that keeps it organized and tangle-free. Keep a mop or rag for spills, and compel anyone to clean as they go. Check that all light bulbs or lamps provide clear visibility. Ladders are also helpful when changing light fixtures or reaching for high objects.
2. Design Ergonomic Workstations
It’s not uncommon nowadays to work beyond eight hours. Prolonged sitting, awkward posture, and repetitive motion can have a long-term impact on the body. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of an injury from repeatedly using computers at work. Those factors above can result in WMSD or work-related musculoskeletal disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends ergonomically designed workspaces to prevent or reduce WMSDs and issues arising from such disorders like absenteeism and low productivity. Here are the essential components of an ergonomic workstation.
- The right office chair provides support to the back and the entire length of the forearms, and encourage a proper sitting posture. This adjustable chair can have a comfortable or breathable cushion.
- The desk is at the correct height so that you don’t have to hunch over the computer and end up straining your arms while typing.
- The monitor is positioned such that your eyes meet the top line of the screen and that the distance between you and the monitor is at least 20 inches.
- The right keyboard keeps your elbows at the sides and not in front or behind of you.
- Lone worker alarms or walkie talkies can also ensure everyone can communicate quickly and easily to each other throughout” to the end of the ‘Establish a Communication Plan’ section.
Also, encourage short breaks for stretching or standing. You can introduce mini exercises to break the monotony of sitting throughout the shift.
3. Keep Doors Locked
Modern times provide sophisticated solutions to safeguard the critical resources of the company. You have biometric devices for access control and automatic identification. You can also install CCTV and alarm systems that you can monitor from your mobile phone.
Nonetheless, locks remain one of the best deterrents to burglaries. Select quality ones for your property (check with your insurance carrier if they require a type of lock). You can test your locks’ strength with a lock picking set and look into measures should they be compromised. This set of tools can be handy when you are locked out of the office.
4. Get Everyone to Learn First Aid (and Have a Kit)
Medical emergencies and disasters can strike anytime. The need for everyone in the team to learn first aid is magnified when there’s no safety officer or a medical practitioner on the premises.
Knowledge about first-aid training ensures a quick and proper response to save lives or mitigate the situation while waiting for the medics. Employees also become conscious of their actions to prevent falls, slips, or accidents in the office. You and the team can enroll in a training program tailor-fit to the needs of the business.
5. Impose drug testing.
Organizations implement drug tests to comply with relevant laws, screen job candidates and create a safe environment for their employees. Drug testing doesn’t necessarily indicate current use of a substance, but it does detect traces of it in a given timeframe, according to the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association.
Drug tests can be a preemptive measure before individuals succumb to abuse. For example, hair testing can show drug use within 90 days. Employees who are aware of an upcoming drug test and want to pass this test have to stop taking the substance and focus on getting rid of toxins from their system. The detoxification can involve exercise and drinking lots of fluids that can generally do the body good.
This policy and other actions hinge on your commitment to a safe office. Where your business is concerned, it pays to prepare for eventualities and contingencies. Such incidents can cause thousands of dollars in compensation claims, not to mention the waste of time and resources.