Office Risk Assessment

by Dave Collins on December 14, 2012

in Risk Assessment,Risk Management



Office Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment:  Tips for Assessing Risks in an Office

When discussing risk assessment, most risk is attributed to factories, mining, construction sites, and other high-risk work areas.  However, risks exist in every single workplace, and risk assessment should be completed in even the lowest risk environments.  Let’s look at risk assessment in offices.

Assess the Dangers in Your Office

Offices differ in many ways.  For example, some offices may use dangerous equipment, and others may not offer employees the risk-lowering products they may need to complete their jobs with their lowest risks.  Therefore, office assessments can vary widely, and all risks should be considered for your most optimal risk assessment.  Let’s look at a few common risks you should watch for in completing your office risk assessment:

  • Assess your lighting.  Lighting that is too bright or too dark can contribute to employee eye strain.  Adjust your lighting to the most comfortable light for your employees’ work.  Also, consider adding task lighting to each cubicle to address your individual employee’s lighting needs.
  • Assess your computer heights.  Computers should be placed just below each employees’ line of sight.  This will minimize neck and back strains and increase employee production.
  • Assess desks and chairs.  Chairs should be adjusted so employees can sit at their desks comfortably in an upright position with both feet flat on the ground.  Taller individuals may require a raised desk and chair, while shorter employees may require a lowered desk and/or a footstool on which to comfortably place his/her feet.
  • Assess equipment.  Ensure that equipment is in proper working condition and free of hazards.  Cords should not be loose or frayed, and all protective covers should be in place.  Also, equipment should meet minimum modern requirements, so be sure to check older equipment for recalls and minimum safety requirements.
  • Assess paths, hallways, and walkways.  All paths should be clear of obstructions, well-lit, and slip-resistant.  Watch daily for obstructions as placement of deliveries can change every day, and assess lighting regularly.  High traffic areas should always be fitted with slip-resistant rugs or carpeted.  Trip hazards can be very dangerous in busy environments in which employees may be hurrying from one point to another.
  • Assess safety access.  Ensure that safety equipment like first aid kits, defibrillators, fire extinguishers, and fire exits are easily accessible with no obstructions.  Also, all safety equipment should be checked periodically for expirations and proper working order.
  • Assess exterior dangers.  Since you are also responsible for employee and pedestrian traffic injury prevention, regularly assess your building’s exterior.  Make sure paths are well-lit, free of debris, and cleared of snow or ice.  Additionally, ensure sidewalks and paths are free of tripping hazards, entrances and exits are not blocked, and that any construction or repair areas are well-labeled.
  • Dangers exist in every workplace, so make sure you take the time to assess and address your risks, no matter if you work in an office or a construction zone.  Ensuring your employees’ every day safety can help you maintain a healthful, safe workplace.

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