A company depends on the health and safety of its employees; by holding safety-related work inservices, you can make your staff aware of potential on-the-job hazards and head off problems before they occur. A effective inservice will present the problem area, explain best practices for handling potentially dangerous situations and offers the opportunity to participate.
Many companies have policies and strategy to prevent, handle and react to fires, but employees may not be familiar with best practices. Hold a fire safety inservice to bring your staff up to speed. Explain potential hazards that relate to your specific office environment, such as spilt or damaged power cords, blocked sprinkler heads, overloaded surge protectors or unsafe space heaters. Use actual examples in the office that illustrate each hazard, and work with the team to figure out a solution. Review with employees the company's plan in case of emergency. Discuss the procedure for testing for fire, exiting the building and meeting up outside for a head count. After the inservice, ask employees to spend one or two hours locating and fixing other potential fire hazards and walking the emergency escape route; this will give them time away from their desks and will cement procedures in their memory.
Falls and slips
In a workplace with stairs, water coolers, sinks or other liquids, falls and slips can be a serious safety concern, particularly if you have older employees who cannot withstand falls safely. To address the problem, hold an inservice that notes potential problem areas: water dripping from a water cooler, spills in a tiled kitchen area, steep stairs without a railing or a leaking piece of equipment. Ask employees to share other areas that might be an issue or where they've had problems in the past. Ask a paramedic or other medical professional to join the inservice to review with your staff the proper treatment of a person who has fallen, and be sure that emergency numbers are posted around the office.
Health and safety
To show your employees that you are concerned for their personal safety and health, hold an inservice that explains how individuals can keep themselves safe in the office. Address topics such as injuries that can result from improper hand placement over a keyboard, repetitive motion injuries, posture problems and back health, or computer-related vision issues. For each problem, ask around for stories about potential work-related hazards to get employees participating and to alert you to additional problem areas. Then, offer solutions for each problem. For wrist and neck problems due to computer use, distribute gel wrist rest pads. To get employees moving, demonstrate exercises they can do to stretch their muscles and improve posture. Give them permission to leave their computers regularly to rest their eyes and have a small mental break.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.