Office safety - Overview

While hazards in the office may not always be as obvious as those in factories, construction sites or field based work, office workers also face a range of safety and health issues, including poor job design, prolonged sitting, repetitive work, moving heavy items, inadequate lighting and cramped or unsafe work areas.

A risk management approach should be used to address office safety and health – a consultative process to identify hazards, assess their risks and control them as far as practicable. A risk management approach should be conducted for design of office spaces, the work to be completed, and the selection and use of furniture and equipment.

Occupational safety and health issues can arise in relation to:

Environmental factors

  • Lighting
  • Ventilation and Air quality
  • Temperature
  • Noise

Work area design

  • Space
  • Storage (leading to obstructions from clutter)
  • Clearances

Workstation set up

  • Equipment
  • Adjustment and use

Job design / system of work

  • Task variety
  • Postural variety

Additional sources of information:

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