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Spotted safety risks in your office? Here's how you can deal with them

by , 13 May 2014
So you've done a risk assessment for your office, but now what? It's easier to prevent someone from falling from a height than preventing a sore back. But things like bad backs and damaged eyes are still workplace hazards you need to consider. So when you put your risk management plan into action what exactly should the action be? Here's how to deal with office workplace hazards in your risk management plan.

The one health and safety tip that could save your company thousands this year
You think that implementing health and safety in your company is going to cost too much money. What if I told you that it could SAVE you thousands of Rands, maybe even millions.

Here's how to deal with office workplace hazards in your risk management plan

If your office risk assessment highlights problems like lighting affecting employees' eyes or chairs straining their backs, you still need to deal with them in your risk management plan
In a previous article we looked at how you can deal with these hazards. If employees' eyes are suffering, adjust your office lighting. 
If their backs are taking strain you'll need to look at the chairs in your office or the height of the desks.
But we also advised for hazards like these that you to consult doctors or professionals. Get suggestions for the optimum lighting or chair and desk heights. 
If you've spotted common hazards like slippery floors or loose wires, then you have to put safety measures in place. These can include things like safety rails or non-slip tape or cable ties to organise wires. 
But how can you prove you've done all of this if an inspector from the Department of Labour (DoL) comes around?
Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.

Here's what you must show the DoL inspector from your risk management plan

If an inspector from the DoL comes around, you must show him:
1. All of the documents from your risk assessment;
2. The records from the safety measures you've put in place. These records can be receipts and letters from people you've consulted. Documentation such as photos and written reports of how you've changed the situation or fixed a problem; and
3. A copy of your health and safety plan and policy on display in your office as instructed in OHS regulations.
If the DoL sees these things, you'll be in the clear. So make sure you take care of these hazards and document them.

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