Here in the UK, nearly one in three employees work in an office of some description – around 10 million of us in total. However, far too many people are still being injured or suffering accidents in the office. With this in mind. RoSPA has produced a short guide to provide you, and your boss, with some suggestions to make your office safer right now.
1. Don’t be a slouch!
According to the NHS, back pain is responsible for 7.6 million lost work days every year. One of the major causes of back pain is poor posture – a real problem for those of us who spend our days stuck behind desks.
Training to assess these factors can help employers meet their legal requirements, as well as combating the musculoskeletal disorders, reduced concentration levels and other ill-health effects that are symptomatic of time spent at poorly-designed workstations.
2. Watch those water bottles
The other major cause of back injury is caused by lifting and moving objects in the workplace. What might surprise you is that a large proportion of these injuries are caused not by the weight of the objects, but by poor manual handling techniques. Even everyday tasks – such as changing the water cooler or refilling the printer – can occasionally lead to serious injury.
3. Remember to breathe
Offices can be a stressful environment on the best of days. Add to this a pressing deadline, a ‘difficult’ boss and lack of sleep and you have the potential for a Chernobyl-style melt down!
Now of course, a little bit of stress can be a positive thing – it’s only when that stress becomes excessive and prolonged that it can lead to serious mental and physical illness. In fact, according to the Chartered Institute of Professional Development, workplace stress is one of the biggest causes of employee absence – and also one of the more difficult issues to manage.
Taking regular breaks, stretching and practicing breathing exercises can all help when you’re feeling the pressure. RoSPA have also produced a comprehensive guide to managing work related stress – meaning you can take a deep breath and step away from the staple gun!
For more office safety tips, please visit RoSPA’s Workplace Safety Blog.
We also offer a wide range of slips, trips and falls signs to help make your office a safer place to work.