Australian businesses are bound by a legal responsibility to protect their employees in their workplace, but with so many health and safety requirements, and products to do the job it's easy to get snowed under.
To make things easier it's best to start with an idea of the hazards present in your workplace. Of course it's going to be different for every business so doing your research and making a list of your particulars is a must.
Here is a list of some of the most common hazards found in an office environment and how to overcome them.
- Manual handling – The quickest way to a back injury is to lift and carry heavy items around the office, and the best way to avoid this is to use a trolley. There are a huge variety of trolleys available, but really you just need something that will take the weight and allow you to cart items around without putting any undue strain on your back or legs.
- Electrical – Power surges and overloads have the potential to destroy your precious electrical equipment, including computers, servers and printers. You can protect your equipment and sensitive information by installing surge and overload protection on all powerboards.
- Fire – A key concern in an office is fire safety, making sure you have a sound plan for evacuating the office is one thing but it's also imperative that you have on hand items like fire blankets and extinguishers.
- Slip and fall – This is where safety signs are your best friend. Avoid slips and trips with appropriate signage for wet floors and slippery surfaces. Another good idea is to have safety matting in hazardous areas like warehouses, and entrance matting to prevent falls when it's wet outside.
- First Aid – Not only do all workplaces need to have a First Aid kit but you also need to make sure you have the correct kit for your workplace. Before purchasing make sure you do some research into the right type of kit for the size and type of your business. A lot of people don’t know that many of the items found in First Aid kits expire so it’s important to keep a close eye on these things and restock as needed. A sign alerting to staff to the location of the First Aid Kit is also a great idea.
- Sun Protection – If your employees do any work outside it’s your obligation to keep them protected from the sun. Providing broad spectrum 50+ sunscreen is your best bet and will ensure that nobody goes home with a bad case of sunburn.
- Visibility – Do you operate a warehouse or work site? Then you’ll definitely need to make sure that you provide high visibility wear for not only your staff but for visitors too. And don’t forget to make sure that visitors know they’re required to wear their Hi-Vis, a well-placed sign will do the trick.
While it may all seem overwhelming and confusing, ensuring the health and safety of yourself, your staff and your visitors should be priority number one for any business. All it takes is a little research and a solid understanding of your own personal needs and you will be able to effectively outfit your business in no time. A great resource for all businesses is the Safe Work Australia website which has all the information you need to make sure you’re a safe workplace for all.
COS is the largest Australian owned and operated national office products company. It is a B2B supplier of products used in every room of the modern office, offering thousands of items from categories including technology, kitchen and cleaning, furniture, print and promotional items, and office supplies. http://www.cos.net.au/