How safe is your office?
As a business owner, it is imperative that you maintain office safety for the benefit of your staff and your business as a whole. Not only do you need to ensure that your office is physically safe, from fire and burglary, but you must protect the health and safety of your employees when they are at work. Every boss needs to consider this: How effectively are you currently safeguarding your office and your staff, and what more can you do?
Fire safety in the workplace
The threat to your office from fire hazards is considerable, with £22,000 workplace fires in the U.K per year. There are a few major causes of workplace fires. They most often come from electrical appliances, cooking and smoking, and there are a number of ways you can reduce the risks of these blazes occurring. With electrical appliances, the fire usually begins from appliances being faulty, something a typical worker won’t be qualified to notice or fix. This is why it is crucial that you hire a professional to carry out regular Portable Appliance Tests regularly.
To reduce the risk of fires from office cooking, you need make sure you install fire and heat detectors and have them regularly tested. £With around 7.6 million smokers in the U.K, it is important to accommodate their needs in a way which is as considerate to others’ health as possible. In their guide to £office fire safety, security experts Security 201 recommend having a proper ashtray and litter bin outdoors, to minimise the fire risks associated with smoking. Putting up signs to encourage staff to thoroughly put out their cigarettes can supplement this.
Physical security of your office
The threat from burglars to your office is also substantial. Statistics from £The Crime Survey for England and Wales show that, between March 2016 and March 2017, there were 411,536 burglary offences in those countries. £Whilst around half of these are domestic offences, the rest include commercial properties, meaning that threat posed to your office is still significant.
There are a variety of ways you can protect yourself. The most obvious methods of doing so are via installing CCTV cameras and burglar alarms. These should be mainstays of your office security, and you will need to make sure both are maintained regularly; your security provider should be able to help you with this, and many offer repairs as part of a standard business contract.
A number of other simple tactics will also enhance your office’s security, such as purchasing safes for valuable workplace items. Acquiring keys for your staff is another effective way of enhancing your office security, ensuring they are the only ones that can enter the premises in the daytime. If you are a reputable business, you may also need to think about hiring security guards. Finally, if you are on the ground floor, simply making sure your staff close the windows each night can go a long way to protecting to your office.
Health and safety of your employees
Ensuring the physical health and safety of your staff in the workplace is vital. Statistics released by the £Health and Safety Executive show that 0.4 million working days were lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries and work-related illness in 2015/16. These days lost came at a cost of £14.1 billion to businesses in 2014/15.
The dangers to your staff, and in turn your business, are large and it is therefore critical that you minimise these risks as much as possible. Employers should carry out risk assessments and provide adequate facilities for staff welfare at work. For example, slips and trips in the office are a major cause of injuries, so by making sure you clean up spills and leaks and replace worn or damaged flooring, you can limit the chances of these hazards arising. Making sure floors are clear from objects and that shelves are stacked correctly are also ways to lessen the potential for injury. It is also essential that you have a first aid kit.
With the potential for workplace illnesses also high, there are a number of ways to minimise the risk in this regard too. Research shows the threat of germs £spreading through computer keyboards is high, so taking steps like having hand sanitizer in the office can help to reduce this problem. Simply reinforcing to your staff that they must take time off when ill can also help to limit the spread of illnesses at work.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Caitlyn Stevens .
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