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- Date published: 13/10/2020
Workplace Health and Safety
This blog will discuss the hazards and risks that may occur in an office/working environment, it will describe the risks and suggest ways in which you can minimize these risks to ensure the workplace is safe. Workplace health and safety is important therefore the office/working environment should always be maintained and reviewed for potential hazards. The blog will discuss windows, lighting and indoor temperature. There are many more potential risks within the workplace such as ventilation, room dimensions and space, cleanliness and waste materials to name a few. But this blog will discuss the three previously mentioned.
Windows in the workplace should pose zero risks to anyone. They should be capable of opening, closing and being adjusted safely. They should also be built and designed in a way that allows them to be cleaned in a safe manner.
There should also be consideration for the equipment used when cleaning the windows including any devices fitted to the windows and how they could affect the safety of the windows.
Windows are dangerous there have been some serious injuries and fatalities that have occurred from people falling through or out of them. Typically, such an event occurs within 3 main categories 1. Accidental 2. Confusion 3. Deliberate self-harm or suicide. Where windows are big enough for people to fall out of the opening, the window should be restricted to 100mm or less. These are typically windows on or above the ground floor level.
Conducting a risk assessment on the windows in your workplace may be a good way to start as this will help you identify and eliminate any risks that could pose a threat to your employees.
Lighting like windows should pose zero risks to anyone in the workplace. The lighting in workplaces should be sufficient to allow people to work and move around safely.
Lighting effects such as glare can cause discomfort in the workplace. Glare occurs when too much light enters the eye and then the eye's ability to manage it is affected.
To help and control the risk lighting can cause in the workplace there are a few things you can do: Replace light bulbs regularly, clean light fixtures often. Also to maximize light in the workplace you can paint walls and ceilings in light colours so light can be reflected.
Thermal comfort can be influenced by the clothes individuals wear in the workplace and how demanding psychically their work is. Due to this, it can be difficult to specify a thermal environment that satisfies everyone.
In a workplace where the activity level is sedimentary, the recommended temperature should be at least 16 degrees. But if the work involves psychical activity/effort then the recommended temperature should be at least 13 degrees. If the workplace becomes too hot then it increases the risk of causing dizziness, fainting, or even heat cramps.
According to an article by the guardian women’s brains work better in warmer offices, “researchers say that workplaces may be able to increase productivity by setting thermostat higher”. The article states also that men tend to work better when the temperature is cooler.
To conclude health and safety within the workplace is very important as employees should always come to work knowing they are in a safe place, therefore ensuring your office/working environment is as safe as possible is important. At Libben we run health and safety courses such as IOSH working/managing safely and a whole range of first aid courses as well. If you are looking to make your workplace a safer place get in touch to find out how we may be able to help.