Five Ways to Make Your Office a Safer Place to Work
By Albert Cooper
One of the goals for every office manager is ensuring that the office is a safe space in which to work. You don’t want to worry about your employees getting hurt on the job, both for their own well-being and for the business’s liability. Luckily, making your office a safer place to work isn’t too difficult. By putting a few practices into place, and making them a habit, you can make the office, and therefore everyone in it, a little bit safer. Here’s what you need to do.
Know the Building Codes
For starters, you need to know the building codes for your location. According to FightingForYou.com, “Building codes, while a hindrance for some projects, were created for a reason. They are what helps this country produce sustainable, safe buildings. They are used to build everything from industrial warehouses to apartment buildings and residential homes. It is imperative that construction companies follow these codes – regardless of how cumbersome they may be on their project.”
Look up the codes for your building, then ensure that you are abiding by all of them. These codes are there for a reason, so if you find you’re in violation of any of them, it’s important that you take care of them right away.
The next thing you can do is run drills. What happens if there is a fire? Or the power goes out? What should you do if you get hurt at work? These are the types of questions every employee should have an answer to. And the best way for them to know the answers completely is to run some workplace safety drills.
Schedule time throughout the year to go over emergency procedures. Go through step by step what you should do in different types of scenarios, then play the scenario out. This will take away some time from work, but if a true emergency ever happens, everyone in the office will be glad you went over it.
Conduct Frequent Inspections
Just like you should run drills frequently, you should also conduct some inspections. Take some time to go over every inch of the office and see if you can spot any signs of danger. The best way to make your office safer is by eliminating anything dangerous before it can cause a problem. For instance, maybe during your inspection you notice that a wire on the coffee maker is starting to fray. Rather than waiting for it to cause a fire, you replace the coffee maker, thereby keeping everyone safe. Here is an office safety inspection checklist to get you started.
Handle Problems Right Away
The key to a good inspection however is taking action on the problems you find. Whenever a potentially dangerous situation arises in the office, it’s important that you address it as soon as possible. When you notice that frayed wire, don’t add it to your to-do list and then forget about it. Handle it that day, or by the end of the week at the latest. If you put potential problems off, eventually you’ll just forget about them. Then one day you’ll be reminded of the problem – when someone get’s injured. Keep this from happening by making safety a top priority and addressing any problems as soon as you can.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, the last thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, the day may come when someone gets injured in the office. When this happens, the best thing you can do is learn why it happened. Was there some policy you could have put into place to prevent this? Do you need to add something to your office to make it safer? While you can’t go back and prevent this injury from happening, you can at least take steps to keep it from happening to others. Talk to everyone involved in the situation, gather their feedback, then make changes going forward that will make your office a safer place.
Make Safety a Priority
In too many offices, safety is an afterthought. Many managers think that offices are safe enough – who can get hurt sitting behind a computer all day? However, there are plenty of ways to become hurt at work, and if you don’t take some necessary precautions, this is bound to happen. This means you need to not only think about safety around the office but make it a priority.
Hopefully this article was able to give you some ideas on how you can make your office safer. The steps above don’t take too much work, and when your employees feel safe at their jobs, you will be happy you took them.