July 16 2015


Most trades should be aware of construction site safety requirements. But do you take the same consideration for the safety of yourself and co-workers when you’re not on a site, but within your office?

Note: Your home office becomes a recognised ‘workplace’ if you or others carry out business functions from it.

Office-based work also needs to be safety orientated. It is accepted that construction sites hold a potentially higher risk of incident/injury however, offices can be dangerous too, especially if everyone does not make safety a priority.

Consider some of the situations that increase exposure to office based injury and what you can do about them:

  • Avoid walking while you are distracted. If it is important enough for your attention, then it’s worth safely stepping aside to answer electronic devices or read/review documents.
  • Never leave filing cabinets open and unattended. The possible accident is not worth the short time it takes to open it back up if you need to.
  • Never run in the office. Nothing is so important that you must risk running into a co-worker or other object.
  • Leave your shoes on. If your shoes are too uncomfortable to wear all day, then wear different shoes. Going around the office barefoot is a sure way to stub a toe or pick up a staple.
  • When you must carry files, don’t carry more than you are capable of. If you’re grunting or your muscles get tired, you’re carrying too much. Use a trolley, get someone to help you or make more trips.
  • Avoid placing extension cords on the floor. These are both tripping and fire hazards.
  • Guards on equipment should remain in place. Never, ever put your fingers in an automatic stapler or punch. Always unplug electrical equipment should you need to try and unjam it. Always fix and lock the guard on a guillotine when not in use.
  • Always keep aisle ways clear. Don’t stack boxes or supplies in aisle ways or in front of doors or doorways. Never arrange offices with desks in front of exits.
  • If your office or building has stairways, hold the handrail and walk carefully.
  • Avoid bending at the waist when accessing low files. If you must access low files, either squat down or get on your knees.
  • Avoid twisting and reaching for files or other materials in your work station. Move your whole body to prevent back strain.
  • Arrange file cabinets, storage shelving, and storage areas on your desk to avoid back and shoulder strain. Put the most often used items in easiest reach.

These simple, but often overlooked office practices will assist you in reducing workplace injuries within your business and subsequently save you time and money.

For more information on this topic or any other OHS inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact Safety Solutions WA.