When it comes to Health & Safety in the workplace, the first thought you may have is to consider high hazard areas like construction, grounds maintenance, laboratory work, catering etc. However there are also hazards in an office environment which is why a risk assessment is your most valuable tool when it comes to health & safety. These are some of the common hazards you may find:-
Slips & Trips
Slips and trips are the single most common cause of injuries in the workplace. The Health & Safety Services Slips & Trips Policy gives guidance on what to expect from your employer.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
Sitting at a desk for a substantial part of your working day may not seem particularly hazardous but it can cause serious strains and injuries if you are not sat correctly or using the correct equipment. Please refer to our DSE pages for advice and guidance.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
Portable equipment is generally equipment that has a power lead and plug and which is normally moved around or can easily be moved from place to place. It also includes larger equipment that can be moved but which is generally stationary in a fixed location and which has a lead and plug, e.g. photocopiers, larger items of scientific analytical equipment. The Health & Safety Services Code of Practice 12 Portable Appliance Testing gives further advice and guidance.
Work Related Stress
We all experience pressure and it can help us at times with our performance in our job roles or aims, but in excess it can potentially affect our health and wellbeing. Health & Safety Services work closely with Occupational Health and Human Resources to provide advice and guidance on work related stress, encouraging teams to proactively carry out risk assessments, ideally before anyone starts experiencing the symptoms of stress.
According to the HSE, the term thermal comfort describes a person's state of mind in terms of whether they feel too hot or too cold. Environmental factors (such as humidity and sources of heat in the workplace) combine with personal factors (i.e. your clothing) and work-related factors (how physically demanding your work is) to influence your thermal comfort. Please visit the Health & Safety Services web page on heat.
Further useful links:
MB, June 2022