Work Health Safety Focus: Office Work

Ensuring work health and safety (WHS) in office environments is crucial to promote the well-being of employees. Under the Work Health and Safety Act (WA) 2020, Person Conducting Business Undertaking (PCBU) are obliged to provide a safe and healthy workplace. Offices have their own unique risks that are very often overlooked. Here are some areas to focus areas and tips to assist with risk management in an office environment.

1. Ergonomic Workstations

Providing ergonomic chairs, desks, and equipment to support proper posture and minimize the risk of musculoskeletal issues like back pain or repetitive strain injuries.

2. Safe Office Layout

  • Maintaining clear pathways and organized workspaces to prevent tripping hazards and ensure easy access to emergency exits.
  • Ensuring staff are protected from inappropriate interactions with others

3. Electrical Safety

Regularly inspecting electrical equipment and cords for damage and ensuring all electrical work is performed by qualified professionals.

4. Fire Safety

Conducting regular fire drills and ensuring the availability of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and clear evacuation plans.

5. Emergency Response Training

  • Providing employees with training in first aid and emergency response procedures.

  • Ensuring employees know how to use fire safety equipment and where to find emergency exits.

6. Slip and Fall Prevention

  • Implementing anti-slip measures, especially in high-risk areas like kitchens and restrooms.

  • Promptly addressing spills or wet surfaces to prevent slip and fall accidents.

7. Mental Health and Well-being

Promoting mental health awareness and providing resources for managing stress, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs) or counselling services.

8. Workplace Hygiene

  • Regularly cleaning and sanitizing workspaces, common areas, and shared equipment.

  • Encouraging proper hand hygiene and providing hand sanitizers.

9. Safe Equipment Use

Ensuring employees are trained in the safe operation of office equipment, including photocopiers, shredders, and printers

10. Workplace Violence Prevention

  • Implementing policies and procedures to prevent workplace violence and harassment.

  • Providing training on conflict resolution and reporting mechanisms for safety concerns.

These WHS priorities emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe and healthy office environment for employees in Western Australia. By addressing these concerns and promoting a culture of safety, organizations can create a workplace where employees can thrive, both physically and mentally.

Our qualified workplace health and safety experts provide cost-effective solutions to manage your WHS needs, reduce the risk to your workers and help you meet WA’s WHS laws. Email or call (08) 9365 7746.

Written By Michelle Strother – Work Health and Safety Practitioner

CCIWA, Business Law WA and REEFWA has taken all reasonable care in preparing this document. The contents of this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific advice for your situation should be sought from CCIWA, Business Law WA or a professional adviser before any action is taken. Neither REEFWA, CCIWA nor Business Law WA accept responsibility for any claim that arises from any person acting or refraining from acting on the information contained in this document.

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