4 office safety hazards you can't afford to overlook


4 office safety hazards you can't afford to overlook

If you work in an office setting, you may not think too much about your personal safety while you're on the job. After all, this isn't an industrial environment like a warehouse or factory, and risks are relatively minimized. However, "minimal risk" does not mean "no risk," and as such, you need to educate yourself about the potential hazards you are likely to encounter in even the quietest of offices.

The following are four of the most common safety issues that can crop up in an office building, and how you can avoid them:

1) Slip-and-falls

The single biggest hazard in just about any professional setting is the likelihood that you will slip, trip or stumble over something on the ground, whether that's an uneven piece of pavement, some ice, a spill or an obstacle you did not see, according to the Safety Management Group. As such, you would be wise to do two things on this front.

First, you need to be highly aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid distractions while you are walking from Point A to Point B. Second, it's important to create a collective effort to clean up spills and debris as soon as they're spotted, and keep floors clear of loose cords and other objects that can pose a tripping hazard.

2) Collisions with unattended objects

Along similar lines to keeping an eye out for loose items on the ground, it's also important to make sure you always watch where you're going to avoid bumping into anything, the Safety Management Group added. Whether it's a door or drawer that has been left open, a raised step, a moving piece of equipment or anything else, it's your duty to keep your head on a swivel and always be aware of your surroundings to avoid a collision.

3) Ergonomics

One office hazard that's all too easy to overlook is that you can give yourself repetitive-stress and ergonomic injuries just by sitting at a desk and typing all day, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. If your posture isn't good, or if you're just not stretching occasionally throughout the day, you may be putting yourself at injury risk without even realizing it.

As such, you should be highly attentive to what your body is telling you, and make sure you are mixing in some physical activity at various points of your work day.

4) Fire risk

Finally, it's important to keep in mind that with so many electronics and other pieces of technology that have to be plugged in, there is always a lurking hazard, according to Safety + Health magazine. However, as you likely know, if too many cords are plugged into one outlet, fire risk increases. You wouldn't do this in your own home, so it's wise to make sure you're not doing it in the office, either. Furthermore, it's a good idea to make sure you're not leaving appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens or hot plates running unattended.

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