Every year on April 28th, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recognizes The World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
Increasingly, workers feel the pressure of the demands of their professional and private life. Technological innovations such as the Smartphone drive the need for instant communications. Economic instability and international unrest cause greater concern for organizations around the globe. As a result, many workers faces multiple and complex pressures that distract from placing enough focus on workplace safety.
In job settings where heavy machinery and equipment are operated, it may seem easier to imagine worksite dangers and the need for vigilance regarding health and safety awareness, but what about in a climate-controlled office building? Surprisingly, there are numerous risk factors that require attention. Several simple office modifications can be implemented to prevent workplace hazards for office staff.
From ergonomics assessments to proper placement of screens, office chairs and filing cabinets, employees can prevent injuries from occurring as well as adding to benefit claims costs through increases in disability costs, prescription medications and paramedical services usage.
Here are a list of my top five tips to avoid office worksite risks to staff:
1) Tidy up to stay clutter-free. Falls, slips and trips represent the number one office injury. Remind employees to keep boxes, files and other items clear of walkways and hallways. Ensure that electrical cords are properly secured and covered too.
2) Be aware of reaching for objects. Always use a proper stepladder and never an office chair to reach for something at an elevated height.
3) Surface awareness. Certain surfaces can be slippery including marble or tile floors. Placing carpets and other skid-resistant surfaces can help reduce or prevent falls and slips. This preventative measure is particularly helpful when dealing with rainy or snowy weather conditions.
4) Safe files and stacking. Filing cabinets and stacking hazards. When file cabinets are left open or extended, they can be more easily knocked over or pose a tripping hazard.
5) Ergonomics and adjustability. It isn't uncommon for employers to balk at the cost of speciality workstations, chairs and monitor stands or even the cost of a thorough ergonomics assessment. Chairs and workstations should be easily adjustable to accommodate the needs of the widest range of workers.
Experts in the industry insist that the investment in ergonomics equipment outweighs the cost of health claims that result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatments and loss of productivity at work.
Most office workers spend the majority of their time working on a computer or seated at a desk. Aside from sitting disease, workers are more prone to improper posture and repetitive movement strains. These injuries can be prevented. For more information and ways to curve your benefits related spend, please contact us. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.