Tips for Maintaining Health and Safety at the Office

office health and safety

This is something positive that comes from the recent pandemic. With many office buildings starting to call back their staff, employers now have a focus on maintaining a healthy and safe work environment. Listed below are a few tips for business owners to create a healthier and safer environment.


Indoor Air Quality

There are many things that can contribute to poor air quality in the workplace. Chemicals, poor ventilation, and an outdated or under-serviced HVAC system are a few examples. Improving ventilation will allow for a quick release of toxic fumes. Replacing the current HVAC system, or contacting a Santa Rosa HVAC repair company service (or someone local to you if you don’t live in Northern California), will improve the air quality considerably. Headaches, difficulty breathing, and fatigue are some of the common symptoms resulting from poor air quality.


A Clean Office

Most business owners have a cleaning service that comes in once or twice a week to perform general cleaning jobs. However, with the virus still present, owners must follow CDC guidelines. Using disinfectants on desks, floors, and other surfaces is a requirement. Having hand sanitizer available is also necessary.


Adopting the Stay-at-Home Policy

In the past, some employees would come to the office even if they felt sick. Today, that’s simply not acceptable. If an employee has a fever or any symptoms of covid or the flu, they must stay at home. The good news is that, due to the pandemic, many companies have systems in place that enable workers to work remotely. 


Returning to The Workplace

Some people who recently worked from home enjoyed the environment. They didn’t have to deal with office cliques and negative or mean-spirited employees. Returning to this environment once again after several months away can bring about excessive levels of stress. In order to achieve a healthy environment for all your staff, it’s important to address any issues immediately. Weekly meetings that allow for open discussions can be productive. 


Safe-Proofing the Office

There are many hazards in the workplace. Unsecured rugs, wet floors, loose handrails and uneven steps can lead to a slip, trip, or fall. Cluttered high-traffic hallways, exposed wires, and open metal utility cabinet drawers can cause serious injury. Doing a thorough check of the interior and exterior of the building will reduce the possibility of any development. 


Safe Handling of Heavy Equipment, Packages, and Boxes

Lifting injuries are another potential hazard in the workplace. Having procedures in place that identify the proper way to lift boxes and move heavier equipment is essential. Make sure that you include it in monthly meetings and post material to encourage safety. 


Sufficient Lighting

An office that lacks sufficient lighting and is either too dark or too bright can cause strain on the eyes and increase the risk of an injury. Overhead recessed lighting is ideal. Make sure that when a light bulb goes out that you replace it quickly and that your lighting doesn’t produce dark areas, glare, or shadows. 


Ergonomic Equipment

You may spend a bit more acquiring an ergonomic chair and keyboard. However, in the end, reducing the potential for injury is worth the investment. Your staff remains seated for a good portion of their workday. After several hours, a regular office chair and traditional keyboard can cause back and neck pain and bring about carpal tunnel. 


Encourage Breaks

Sitting at a desk for 8 hours daily can lead to poor circulation and fatigue. Having scheduled breaks every few hours allows your employees to get up, stretch their legs, and clear their heads. When they return to their desks they will feel energized and ready to tackle problems. 

There are many hazards in the workplace. However, through awareness, you can avoid a serious injury.