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Here's how to make your office accident proof

by , 14 July 2014
Accidents can happen in your office the same way they can happen on a construction site. Just because your employees sit at desks doesn't mean they can't suffer injuries.

Just the other day, one of my colleagues had an unfortunate accident where her forehead met the edge of a desk. There was blood, but luckily she suffered nothing worse than a small cut.

Imagine this happened in your office, but instead of a cut, your employee was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.

Luckily you can make your office accident proof to prevent things like this from happening...

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You must always have first aid kits available in your workplace
And your first aid kits must be kept stocked with items on the list from the COID Act and the General Safety Regulations Annexure.

 Your office doesn't have to be a danger zone if you do a risk assessment

Identifying possible risks is the best way to prevent workplace accidents from happening. Now you can't really prevent accidents like the one that happened to my colleague as that was a matter of reaching for something and misjudging the distance from the desk. But you can identify hazards and risks such as slippery stairs and wobbly filing cabinets. These are things that can really do damage if they cause an accident.
Luckily, all you need to do is a risk assessment and keep an eye out for these common office hazards...

Five office hazards you can remove with a risk assessment

1. Slippery floors in the bathroom, kitchen and passageways;
2. Loose or lumpy carpet that can trip someone;
3. Badly stored files and papers that can easily fall over;
4. Overcrowded electrical points; and
5. Obstacles your employees could walk into, trip over or catch themselves on.
These are just five common health and safety concerns that normally plague offices. You may find many more when you do your risk assessment. So be sure to deal with all the workplace hazards you notice during your risk assessment. 
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

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