Office Safety: Avoiding the Hidden Dangers Near Your Desk

It would not be that unfair to suggest that there is a greater degree of complacency surrounding health and safety issues in the office, compared to a building site environment.

Understandably, dangers and health hazards are all around you if you are working with heavy plant machinery and equipment and handling hazardous materials on a daily basis, but an office contains a number of hidden dangers that need to be addressed in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. An office job involves a lot of technology, such as computers and printers, alongside a large number of employees in a small, indoor space. Companies have to take measures to protect their staff in these circumstances, such as regularly having their air conditioning maintained by companies such as those found via, in order to keep the air fresh. Without doing this, health hazards could occur.

Companies like handle compensation claims for workplace accidents and injuries on a regular basis. It is feasible to suggest that some of these incidents maybe could have been avoided with better health and safety awareness.

Slips, trips and falls

These are the three most common type of office injury recorded every year and according to the National Safety Council, office workers are actually 2.5 times more susceptible to a disabling than workers outside of this type of work environment.

Offices can quickly become cluttered with boxes, files and other items that can easily become a tripping hazard. Trailing wires and rugs that are not properly secured or positioned can soon become instrumental in causing someone to suffer a debilitating slip, trip or fall.

Injured while sitting

Whilst you need to address the obvious visible hazards and make sure that walkways are clear of clutter and items cleared away out of harm’s way, there is also the question of ergonomic injuries to address.

HSE guidelines on office safety cover a number of aspects and provide a useful office risk assessment tool to help your identify key issues and dangers.

Many reported injuries in an office setting are related to ergonomics. Office workers spend a large part of the day sitting at a desk and working on a computer, which leaves them vulnerable to strains and injuries, related to their posture and the use of repetitive movements.

You will need to not only tackle the hidden dangers that are near your desk, but deal with the elephant in the room too, which is the workstation itself, as it may be causing physical ailments and problems if the chairs, desks and computer equipment are not conducive to your good health.

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Sick building syndrome

You may well have already heard of the term sick building syndrome, which is a collective term that refers to a variety of health-related symptoms that can affect office workers.

Indoor air pollution and problems with inadequate ventilation can contribute to a variety of health issues and symptoms. There are still ongoing studies into the effects of improper temperatures, poor humidity and even what effect the colour of the walls has on our physical and mental wellbeing. By investing in a good air conditioning system, perhaps fitted by a company like Service Legends, you can take more control over what you and your employees are breathing in. By visiting a companies repair website, such as, you can research into the best ways to maintain this system and how to make sure it is running smoothly, with the help of a professional company.

It is certainly an area of concern that needs to be addressed when you are considering health and safety in your office.

It is advisable to conduct a thorough risk-assessment that looks at all aspects of office safety from the suitability of the chairs to the quality of the air.

Thinking that your office is a low-risk environment would be a mistake, especially when you view the level of recorded accidents and incidents each year.

Louis Franklin works as a senior health and safety officer for a major retail chain. He also likes to share his insights experiences and tips online. His articles mainly appear on health, wellbeing and lifestyle blogs.

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