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Office Hazards

Office hazards versus other workplace hazards

With regards to health and safety, office hazards are likely to vary considerably from hazards faced by workers in other environments such as factories. Whilst there are still hazards facing office workers, it is usually fair to say that manual work involving heavy duty machinery is more dangerous, with hazards being more numerous and potentially more damaging. For example, a worker on the assembly line at a car production plant will encounter machinery which could sever a limb or crush, noise which could cause loss of hearing, dust and fumes which could choke etc, whereas an office worker sitting at a desk is extremely unlikely to encounter such risks.

For this reason, office hazards and office health and safety is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves because it is considered low risk. However, when a thorough risk assessment is conducted, the results will show that there are indeed many hazards which can be encountered by office workers, and that sufficient controls and risk management procedures need to be in place.

Potential office hazards include:

  • Electricity - In the form of electric shocks or electrical fires through faulty wiring.

  • Strain injuries - Such as eye strain through using Display Screen Equipment (DSE) or Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from using computer keyboards and mice for long periods without adequate wrist support.

  • Slips, trips and falls - Wet floors or items left on stairs pose a hazard.

  • Manual handling - Lifting heavy items such as boxes can cause back problems if lifted incorrectly (See: Manual Handling Training).

  • Conflict - Office workers dealing with the public may need training in conflict management.

  • COSHH - Whilst they may not deal with chemicals used in the manufacturing process, office workers will still use certain substances which are hazardous to health and store them on the premises. The most likely of these for an office is cleaning products and printer ink toner (See: COSHH Training).

  • Health and safety courses on office hazards

    Effective health and safety training, combined with a well-written health and safety policy and an in-depth risk assessment is essential for those who take the safety and welfare of their office workers seriously, and wish to reduce the likelihood of office hazards causing injury. At ATC Risk Management, we offer a number of health and safety training courses which focus on specific hazards such as DSE and manual handling, as well as our Office Safety course which covers the specific risks to office workers, as well as looking at relevant health and safety legislation and accident investigation for an office accident.

    Delegates get the most out of these training courses when they are run as bespoke courses for a group of employees from the same company, which is tailored to their organisation's specific working practices and potential hazards. For more information and to discuss your requirements with one of our health and safety consultants, please call us on 0115 984 9940 or contact us online.

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    DISCLAIMER: All health and safety text on this website is provided for information only. Legislation, best practice etc may have changed since it was written, so you should always seek expert advice which fully takes into account your individidual needs and circumstances. To discuss your specific requirements with one of our expert health and safety trainers and consultants, please call us on 0115 984 9940 or contact us online by clicking the envelope in the top right corner of the page.