COMPANY CULTURE / JAN. 14, 2015
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Top 5 Safety Procedures for Office Workers

Prioritizing workplace safety can benefit you in many ways other than avoiding injuries or even deaths resulting from workplace accidents, as well as the financial losses occasioned by workers’ compensation. Employees, who work in a safe and secure environment, are motivated and productive hence perform well, which translates to customer loyalty, increased sales, and higher profit margins. State legislation and federal laws decree that workplace safety procedures should be a cornerstone of any organization or business. Complying with them entails instituting certain safety procedures that all workers should follow.

#1 Fire safety measures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires business establishments and office settings to install fire alarms and smoke detectors. Office workers should be informed about safety procedures through training on how to use the equipment in case of an emergency. They should participate in frequent fire drills to educate them on how to evacuate the building in case of a fire outbreak. The onus is on your organization to ensure that the passageways, escape routes and aisles accessible from the office are not obstructed.

#2 Reporting of incidents

Employees should report all accidents, safety threats and injuries that occur in the office to help you institute investigations and formulate strategies to reduce incidents. Develop a reporting procedure that outlines the modalities for notifying the management of these happenings. Essential contents of the procedure include a list of reportable incidents and the persons responsible for receiving them. Workers who wish to make a report should have to fill out an incident reporting document outlining the details of the incident. Of course, they should be guaranteed of non-victimization for bringing the incident to light.

#3 Maintenance of security

Your employees are all responsible for their security and that of the office, either directly or indirectly. This entails abiding by the laid-down security measures when in the vicinity of the office. These measures range from prohibiting them from bringing strangers to the office without authorization, locking all doors during non-working hours or keeping their office keys safe from unauthorized persons. Workers also have an obligation to notify the security team of any suspicious characters lurking in the office environment.

#4 Guidelines for routine tasks

As the boss, your employees can help you develop a safety program for performing routine tasks in the office, some of which may be hazardous. Ask them about any dangerous situations they encounter when performing their duties and how the risk of these incidents occurring can be reduced. The safety program guides workers on how to perform these tasks without risking their safety and health. For instance, the employees should follow a set procedure for the disinfection of areas prone to spread of contagious diseases, such as, break rooms.

#5 Ergonomics safety procedures

An employer needs to furnish his workers with adjustable and comfortable workstations that shield the latter from ergonomic injuries, such as, ligament damage, chronic discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision as well as back aches. For their part, workers should adhere to set ergonomic procedures, such as, changing their work habits, taking time out to stretch as well as changing their sitting postures. Participating in workplace safety training workshops will equip them with this knowledge. They will also learn how to adjust their workstations appropriately depending on their tasks and body build.

Employing nonemployee workers including volunteers or independent contractors exempts you from OSHA’s regulations. Nevertheless, you are still ethically responsible to your workers to ensure their safety and health. Successful execution of any safety programs in your office needs the input of your employees, which will give you peace of mind.

 

Image: iStock

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