Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are obliged to provide employees with a safe working environment, and to carry out regular checks to ensure that the workplace is as hazard-free as possible. Using an occupational safety checklist can assist in making sure that you have the correct policies and procedures in place.
An office should be kept neat and tidy, without any files or boxes scattered on the floor, as this can create trip hazards, which in turn lead to bruising and broken bones as a result of accidents. All floors should be dry, and any wet or slippery floors clearly shown through the use of signs to prevent an accident. Employees should have enough storage for their files and folders.
The ambient temperature of the workplace should be comfortable; many companies will use air conditioning facilities to regulate the air temperature and ensure that the workplace is neither too hot nor too cold. Lighting should not be too bright so as to cause eyestrain, and not so dim that employees cannot carry out their functions with ease. You should also ensure that the workplace is sufficiently ventilated to ensure fresh air circulates regularly.
Every business should have a clear emergency procedure that should be adhered to by all employees. Exits should be kept clear at all times in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation, and an area should be designated for employees to assemble. These procedures should be regularly reviewed to make sure that they are up-to-date and correct. The workplace should also have functional emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers or a sprinkler system.
Every business should have at least one individual trained in first aid, whose responsibility it is to assess and treat injured colleagues. First-aid kits should be regularly checked and well stocked, and any incidents recorded in an accident book.
Every workstation should be ergonomically designed around the specific physical and occupational needs of the user. All desks should have height adjustable chairs, and users should sit with both feet placed on the floor, with knees and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Short breaks should also be taken regularly to reduce the risk of a repetitive strain injury.