Office Safety: Something You Should Always Take Seriously
Some people work from home these days. Many businesses employ this model, but some still require in-person attendance. It all depends on what each job and company need.
If you work in an office environment, you must know about safety and follow the rules your company has in place. Never underestimate the importance of workplace safety. It can save your life or a coworker’s life. It can also prevent serious injuries.
We’ll discuss workplace safety now. You might have different policies in place at various job sites, but you can expect certain universalities as well.
Office Safety Tips
Know the Best Way Out
Safety on the job starts with some simple concepts. Knowing the nearest exit at all times becomes essential. If you work in an office building, you should know the elevator’s location, but you should also know about any stairways out of the building.
If a fire ever starts, you should never take the elevator. You should know the nearest stairway and use it. You’ll leave quickly, but you shouldn’t panic. You should also ensure everyone around you knows about the danger and that they’re evacuating too.
These days, there’s also the active shooter danger. You’d hope a disgruntled employee won’t come back with a weapon, but there’s always the slight chance it could happen.
In that situation, you should know about the nearest exit as well. You can conduct safety drills at least a couple of times each year. If you own the company or run it, you should make sure everyone participates when you have a safety drill, and you should have someone responsible in charge on each floor.
This person can act as that floor’s emergency action plan director. You can make sure this individual has the requisite training and that they’ll keep a cool head if there’s ever an emergency that demands evacuation.
Know About the Building’s Fire Prevention Measures
Fires in office buildings can cause many injuries and deaths. If all the employees follow some simple rules, though, that scenario isn’t very likely.
You should have fire extinguishers on each floor. You should place them prominently so anyone can easily access them if a fire breaks out.
You can also install a wet-pipe sprinkler system in the building. Most buildings have standpipes that run through them with a steady water supply. The sprinklers can trigger if a fire ever breaks out, and that will more than likely put out the blaze.
If the fire alarm doesn’t trigger on its own when a fire starts, you should let all the employees know about the pull stations on each floor. Any modern building should have them.
You might have a single-action pull station where you simply pull down on the lever, and the fire alarm starts going off. You may also have a double-action pull station where you open the little glass door and then pull down on the lever. Either way, setting off the alarm only takes a moment.
You can do practice drills every six months that act as refreshers. At that time, you can make sure everyone knows about the fire extinguisher and pull station locations and how they work.
You might have a drafty office building. Some office buildings get cold in the winter, even with the heat on. You may have some corners that don’t get very much warmth, and in those situations, someone might bring in a space heater.
That’s not a bad idea, but anyone who uses such a heater must make sure it’s safe. They should check the heater’s cord and see that it’s not frayed. Frayed cables can spark and cause a fire.
If someone uses a space heater, they should also turn it off if they ever leave their office or cubicle. A space heater can malfunction, and if there’s no one there watching it, it can start a fire.
If you have an office building that gets hot during the summer months, you might have some open windows. Some office buildings have windows that don’t open all the way because that poses a possible danger, but if you have office space in an older building, the windows might open all the way.
If so, you should make sure everyone exercises caution when they’re near those windows. If someone trips or slips, they might fall out.
You should also make sure that window cleaners wear the proper safety gear when they’re cleaning the windows. Whether they’re inside the building when they’re cleaning or outside on a scaffold, they must wear the regulation safety harnesses that the industry demands.
Any window cleaner who doesn’t wear the harness risks serious injury or death. Many window cleaners die every year because they’re careless and don’t wear a harness.
If that happens, you might have a tragedy on your hands. Then you’ll have a grieving family, and OSHA will issue violation notices as well.
Robust Office Security Measures
Office safety also includes robust security measures, usually downstairs in the lobby. You should always have someone standing guard. They can check people into the building and make sure they’re employees.
Guards can learn who works there and who doesn’t. If you have a huge company where the guards can’t possibly learn everyone’s name and face, you can at least issue swipe cards that let employees in. The guards can check guests in and issue them passes. This way, no one unauthorized should gain entry.
You can also have barriers around the property if you have trade secrets that your company keeps. Maybe you have a military contract or proprietary information that rival companies might want.
If so, having a fence around the property makes sense, and you might even want guards patrolling as well. They can make sure no one unauthorized gets in. If you have cameras set up, they can monitor those from the lobby.
These common-sense security measures should help keep your company and all of your workers safe.