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Maintain a Safe Office

Published in Blog

By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that your office is safe for you, your employees, and visitors. Taking a variety of factors into account is necessary, including both the physical and mental safety of workers and the hospitableness of the environment.

The CDC asserts the importance of office safety and provides a clear explanation of all the elements to be considered: "Maintaining a healthy office environment requires attention to chemical hazards, equipment and work station design, physical environment (temperature, humidity, light, noise, ventilation, and space), task design, psychological factors (personal interactions, work pace, job control) and sometimes, chemical or other environmental exposures."

Certain aspects of office safety mentioned in this safety manual are as simple as keeping your work and eating areas and restrooms clean. "Injuries in office settings often come about because the 'housekeeping' of the office has become slack...Cleanliness and good housekeeping can also reduce allergic reactions to dust/mold and prevent illness such as the flu or a virus."

If you have the luxury of planning out your office space or starting from scratch with office furniture and technology, try to purchase ergonomically designed equipment that will improve employee health and comfort. The CDC explains this further: "A well-designed office allows each employee to work comfortably without needing to over-reach, sit or stand too long, or use awkward postures (correct ergonomic design)."

Office conditions are not always ideal. If you find that employees are experiencing discomfort or a lack of productivity due to their workspaces, encourage them to take breaks from their desks or to rearrange their spaces to personally improve their work environment. "Studies have shown that those working at computers have less discomfort with short, hourly breaks."

Every office is different. Take stock of yours to see how things could be improved for the safety and health of your employees. Better conditions for workers can decrease workplace stress. According to the CDC, job stress increases: "when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities or resources of the worker."

Untreated stress can result in sickness so keeping a continuous watch on the mental and physical health of employees in conjunction with office safety will only improve conditions for everyone in your workplace.

SOURCES:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/officeenvironment/
http://daq.state.nc.us/employee/safety/cleanoffice.pdf

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