While the issue of workplace safety is often associated with risky environments or those who perform manual labor tasks like heavy-lifting or factory work, providing a safe, comfortable place for office employees is just as essential. Because an office is a contained, highly-controllable environment, unlike a factory or outdoor work, most worker’s comp accidents that happen in an office could be avoided. Here are some easily correctable hazards to watch out for:

1. Trip hazards. Cables and wires are components of almost every piece of office machinery, from computers to printers to photocopiers to fax machines. Allowing cables to lie on the floor, jumbled up is only inviting trouble. Simple, inexpensive cable management systems can minimize the potential for employees to trip over these cables and damage expensive equipment or themselves. We found a variety of cable management options at www.versatables.com, starting as low as $2 each if you buy in quantity. A small price to prevent what could be a costly worker’s comp claim.

2. Watch your eyes. Anti-glare filters for computer monitors are an effective way to reduce eye strain associated with prolonged computer use. We found an assortment of different styles, all of which reduce glare by up to 95%, starting at less than $40 each. Reduced eye strain not only means healthier employees, but is likely to increase productivity as well.

3. Clean restrooms prevent the spread of illness. Most illness-causing bacteria and viruses are spread through person-to-person contact and contact with surfaces that other people have touched. Keeping a restroom clean, and encouraging employees to wash their hands will inevitably cut down on the spread of communicable diseases and decrease the amount of time lost to sickness. Have restrooms cleaned at least once per day and make sure there is always a supply of antibacterial soap and paper towels available. Keep a large trash bin in the restroom to prevent a pile up or overflowing of paper towels.

4. Chill out and buy a ‘fridge. A refrigerator, even a small one, can prevent food-borne bacteria from manifesting in foods that employees bring for lunch, particularly in high-risk foods that contain mayonnaise or dairy products. Encourage employees to utilize the refrigerator and keep it clean. The cost in lost work time due to one bout of food poisoning for a single employee can easily exceed the price of a single, efficient mini-fridge.

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