Safety comes first, even for those employees who are not working “on the plant floor”.  Accidents and injuries in the office account for thousands of hours of lost time and millions of dollars in Worker’s Compensation and medical costs.  Hazards do exist in the office environment and it is essential that employers and staff follow solid safety practices as they go about their duties.

With proper ergonomic techniques, employees can avoid or reduce back pain, eye and muscle strain, and tension.  By incorporating practical solutions such as the re-organization of work materials, ensuring a neutral position while working at the computer and incorporating glare reducing measures, employees are protected and more productive.  The added benefit is that each employee feels better at the end of the day and returns to work with a positive attitude, instead of feeling worn out and lethargic.

Workplace stress does affect your staff’s ability to perform their jobs.  Even though we work in a fast paced world, there are coping techniques we can implement so as to reduce stress symptoms.  With the inclusion of a “Fitness & Wellness” plan, you can reduce stress related conditions and improve safety records as accidents and injuries occur less frequently with healthier employees.

Unfortunately, workplace harassment has become a greater safety concern within the office environment.  Harassment encompasses a wide range of behaviour from inappropriate practical jokes to verbal intimidation, sexual harassment and stalking.  By incorporating safety measures for handling such situations, employers ensure that employees feel safe in bringing these situations forward, knowing that they will be dealt with appropriately, allowing them to concentrate on their work functions.

With an implemented Office Safety plan, you are fostering a positive workplace environment that ultimately improves employee morale, increases productivity and reduces the incidence of accidents and related costs.  Everyone benefits when office safety is foremost.

Sherri-Lynn Varnai, P.Eng.