Office Safety Hazards

1. HAZARD: Slips and trips

Staff and visitors may be injured if they trip over objects or slip on spillages.


To prevent the majority of slips and trips in the office:

  • General good housekeeping is carried out.
  • All areas are well lit.
  • Trailing leads or cables are moved or protected.
  • Staff keep work areas clear, eg no boxes left in walkways, deliveries stored immediately.
  • Staff mop up or report spillages.

2. HAZARD: Manual handling

Staff risk injuries or back pain from handling heavy/bulky objects, eg deliveries of paper.


  • Trolley used to move heavy items where appropriate.
  • Heavy items are stored/accessible at the appropriate height.
  • Staff are aware/trained on how to split heavy loads and make them easier to handle.
  • Staff are aware of ways to move objects that are too heavy to lift by hand.

3. HAZARD: Ergonomics

Staff risk posture problems and pain, discomfort or injuries, eg to their hands/arms, from overuse or improper

use or from poorly designed workstations or work environments. Headaches or sore eyes can also occur, eg if

the lighting is poor.

PREVENTION: Posture problems, pain, discomfort and injuries

  • Assess workstations, reduce risks and provide information and training.
  • Work planned to include change of activity or regular breaks.
  • Ensure any workstation / work environment related concerns expressed by staff are followed up.

4. HAZARD: Fire

If trapped, staff could suffer fatal injuries from smoke inhalation/burns.

PREVENTION: Fatal injuries

  • Fire risk assessment must be completed and adequate fire safety measures must be in place.
  • An emergency preparedness and response plan must be implemented and tested.
  • Fire alarm tested regularly.
  • Fire drills carried out at least once a year.
  • Regular checks made to ensure escape routes and fire exit doors are not obstructed.

5. HAZARD: Work equipment

Staff could get electrical shocks or burns from using faulty electrical equipment. Staff may also suffer injury from moving parts of equipment or unbalanced equipment.

PREVENTION: Electrical shock

  • All new equipment checked before first use to ensure that placement does not cause additional hazards.
  • Staff trained in use of equipment where necessary.
  • Staff encouraged to spot and report any defective plugs, discoloured sockets or damaged cable/equipment.
  • Defective equipment taken out of use safely and promptly replaced.


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