Working in an office could be stressful or fun. A lot depends upon the atmosphere in the office and bosses there. If you are the boss at the office, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are comfortable, happy, and above all safe and healthy at the office. Taking care of these factors will help to grow your business as happy and safe employees will give you better productivity and services.
You may decorate your office with the most beautiful or expensive things, but you need to take care of the safety factors while placing them. Crisis can occur anytime if the décor is not placed or fixed well. Thus, there are certain precautions that you can take at the office to avoid health hazards for your employees.
Most offices have a water fountain placed in the office. It might be at the entrance, in the garden, in the center of the foyer, in the reception area, etc. These watch very pleasingly to the eye and are supposed to bring in prosperity and good luck to the office. All these fountains are plug-ins and use electricity. Make sure confident that there are no leakages of water or spill over. This could cause people to slip and fall. Highlight the fountains with some planters with artificial indoor and outdoor trees.
The wiring should be done neatly, and if possible, the fountain should be placed as close to a socket as possible so that wire lengths don’t lie around and cause tripping. In case you have a glass sheet waterfall, ensure that the glass is tough and durable. Check for current supply to avoid shocks. Don’t place such items on tables where people are walking by could knock them down.
Appliances and Machinery
Go in for sleek and slim machinery and appliances. Don’t decorate these by placing vases, bowls, and other decorative items. They will most likely fall and cause accidental situations. Uncomfortable and poorly designed computer workstations cause many health problems for the employees.
Every office will have display boards and notice boards for information. There will also be wall hangings, photo frames, and other wall decorative items. Check for loose frames and loose screws from time to time. The same holds true for wall clocks or hanging flower pots. Similarly, precautions should be taken for screens and projectors in the office.
Festive seasons see a lot of extra décor in offices. Avoid accidents caused due to a weak Christmas tree or loose presents and buntings hanging from the trees. Sometimes you hang summer mantles and other doorway decorations. See that these are correctly fixed and replaced from time to time.
Steps and Staircases
We often place pots and plants on staircases and steps. See that there is space for people to walk up and down without banging into them. Some plants are thorny, and care has to be taken that such plants don’t poke the employees.
Pots and Plants
Plants in colorful pots always look beautiful. There may be hanging planters as well which could break free from weak chains or ropes. When these plants are watered, there is every chance of water dripping on the stairs and the floors making them slippery and hazardous. Some plants grow very fast and need constant trimming.
There is a simple solution to this. Go in for faux foliage like artificial silk trees and fake plants in pots. You won’t need to water them, and there will be no chance of employees slipping o the stairs. These artificial plants are also easy to maintain and need no weeding or manures. You can choose the size and shape of the plants. This eliminates the danger of overgrown plants and the need to trim them from time to time. Remember to use fire retardant trees to avoid the dangers of fire.
Rugs and Flooring
Decorative rugs adorn the floor of the office at the entrances or even inside the rooms. Go in for non-slippery ones. Fix them with steel frames if you place them on the stairs at the entrance or inside the office building. Loose, silky, and slippery rugs and carpets are a particular health hazard. You can also fix these mats and rugs with a fake bamboo tree in a planter on either side.
Beautiful furniture is the beauty of an office. Pieces of furniture which are oddly shaped or have too many angles are not advisable. Buy and place furniture which has soft and round edges. Otherwise, you will find employees with scratches on their arms and sore toes very often. Fix the cabinets and shelves well to the walls. Don’t place breakable and delicate pottery or china on loose shelves and open shelves. Additionally, make sure that there are no loose or broken mirrors on the walls.
Many offices have a kitchen or a kitchenette which the employees can use for eating or heating up their food. Keep this place hazard free. Check appliances, sockets, water taps, etc. from time to time. Special care should be taken for the gas connections and the gas stove. Fix chimneys to eliminate fumes and smokes. There could be people allergic to such things. Avoid placing decorative curios in the kitchen which could fall quickly and hurt someone.
Lighting and Ventilation
Due to space constraints, our office may not have large open rooms for your employees. But ensure that there is sufficient air to breathe. Proper ventilation is very import. There could be allergens due to mats, rugs, carpets, curtains, and other furnishings. Take care to dry clean or wash such materials. The light fittings like lampshades and chandeliers that may be there in the office to add to the décor could cause health hazards for the employee if not fitted well. Don’t fix bulbs and lights which emit fumes or smokes of any kind. Room fresheners and aroma dispensers can also cause health problems like breathing problems and respiratory infections. Avoid these in closed office spaces as the aroma could be powerful for some employees to handle.
Many offices have gymnasiums and the indoor sports facilities for the employees. Mind that you don’t buy equipment which looks pretty, but causes health problems in the long run. The equipment should be working fine. Loose nuts and bolts, cracked bars, damaged machines like treadmills and walkers will cause more harm than good to the employees.
Decorate the office nicely, but look into health hazards too. Healthy and safe employees mean a healthy and growing business for you.