Any worker in the United Kingdom, whether that person works in a white collar or manual labor job, is always subject to health and safety risks. While employers are responsible in almost all situations, staff members should also be mindful individually to issues on safety and health. Overlooking safety issues could put the employee and his fellow workers at risk.
Safety should apply to all environments – from a construction site to an office environment. Work-related accidents may lead to long-term injuries, fatalities, and absences. What are the safety standards that any employer or office employee should expect? In the United Kingdom, keeping office employees safe is the law.
Keeping office workers safe is not about providing an acceptable work environment. It is also about tackling issues on one’s well-being. An example is discrimination, which may affect one’s safety, mental well-being, and future career prospects. If the office worker is disabled, employers should adapt the workplace to accommodate the worker’s disability. This means adding ramps and lifts. If an employer does not allow the staff to be members of trade unions, then the employer may be covering up safety issues.
Bullying can also be an office safety concern. There is a fine line between bullying and rigorous staff management. However, it should not be an excuse for behavior that places staff members at risk and under pressure. If staff members are being bullied, staff may take chances like cutting corners at work just to keep bullies at bay. Cyber-bullying and sexual harassment in the office are forms of bullying. The employer and employees must recognize the signs and help stop bullying.
Psychological issues are the effects of bullying and discrimination in the workplace. When under stress, employees may not be concerned for their safety or for others’ as well. Psychological issues may drive office workers to take drugs or alcohol to escape stress. Moreover, stressed out office employees may take out their issues to their homes, which may result in domestic violence.
The first and foremost thing that an employee can do to promote safety in the office is to have good health. Employees should also be mindful of complaints’ risks that can affect fellow office workers like swine flu, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Determining and resolving health issues will lead to a better and safer work environment.
Avoiding common accidents is one way of keeping the office environment safe. Risk assessments emphasize the issues an office worker may encounter like noise pollution, carrying and lifting, and fire hazards. Employers must also conduct assessments on risk to pregnant women. These women have to be aware of various safety concerns, which pertain to them and the unborn baby. Traveling from home to work and vice versa also poses safety risks and long commutes may deplete the energy of the office worker, who may not be able to work properly during the day.
Keeping safe in the office or in the field should be a priority for employers and employees. Collective efforts by these two parties would ensure a highly-effective, safe, and healthy working environment for office workers.