According to the Health&Safety Advisor, there are three factors that can make your office unhealthy.
Let's take a closer look at each of these factors and the solutions.
Three factors that can make your office unhealthy
#1: Lighting in the office
Good lighting in workplaces is essential to enable employees to see clearly and perform their work safely.
Key factors to consider when determining how adequate your lighting is:
In general, good lighting must allow your employees to easily view their work and environment without the need to strain their eyes. But different activities will require different levels and qualities of light.
#2: Noise in the office
So why is the control of noise in an office important?
Generally, the levels of noise in office areas are below those levels known to pose a risk to hearing.
In offices, 'annoyance' noise is more likely and may interfere with communication, annoy or distract employees as well as affect your employee's performance of tasks like reading and writing.
This can be costly for your company. Noise that prevents an employee from understanding an instruction or warning signal may also be a risk to safety.
For these reasons, it's important to consider what you can do to control unwanted noise in the office.
Identifying disturbing noise in the office: To identify disturbing noise sources in an office it's best to ask employees working in the area a series of questions, for example:
You can do this using a general walk-through survey that includes interviewing employees. Where you've identified noise issues as a problem in an office environment, you should conduct assessment and develop noise control measures.
#3: Thermal comfort and air quality in the office
Comfort is influenced by clothing, the job being done, temperature, humidity and air flow. Employees may feel uncomfortable if the temperature within an office is either too low or too high.
High humidity can create a stuffy, sticky atmosphere and contribute to feelings of tiredness.
Identifying thermal comfort issues: To identify thermal comfort issues in office environments, ask the employees working in the area a series of questions like:
Some general suggestions for improving thermal comfort include:
The bottom line: You must evaluate health and safety issues relating to environmental factors in your offices including lighting, noise and air quality.
Remember, health and safety isn't only for factories and mines. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) covers all places where employees work. This includes your office.