Office Safety Course
The office environment poses specific risks to workers, with a particular risk being long-term health issues that are often difficult to identify and manage such as repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Our Office Safety course is intended for managers and supervisors in office environments who need to know and understand their responsibilities for the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by the work activities.
What Does the Course Cover?
The syllabus of the Office Safety course comprises the following:
- Relevant health and safety legislation
- Accident prevention and accident investigation
- Risk assessment
- Common office hazards and controls including: manual handling, display screen equipment (DSE), fire safety, chemicals, work equipment safety, welfare facilities, slips and trips etc.
Our health and safety trainers are qualified and experienced health and safety professionals with an appropriate background in this topic and in delivering engaging health and safety training.
All consultants hold professional membership of the chartered Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
This course is primarily delivered in-house at your premises. The course content can be tailored to your specific requirements, taking into account the specific dangers and working practices of your particular company and industry. It can also be combined with one or more other courses to create a truly bespoke training programme for your employees.
For more information please call 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form with a description of your training requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Office Safety course is delivered over one day.
Each delegate on the Office Safety course will be issued with a workbook to assist them both during and after the course.
The course is designed to be interactive, allowing delegates the opportunity to develop their skills with the support of the course tutor.
Delegates will be awarded a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course.
Our Office Safety course is not currently scheduled as an open course, and is currently only available as an in-house course where we come to your premises and deliver the training for a number of your employees.
For more information, and to discuss your training requirements further, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form.
Office Hazards Versus Other Workplace Hazards
Whilst an office may not be thought of as one of the most dangerous places of work, and although it is true that it does not contain the same risks as a chemical or heavy-duty manufacturing plant for example, there are a number of health and safety issues to take into consideration, as there are still risks present in an office.
With regards to health and safety, office hazards are likely to vary considerably from hazards faced by workers in other environments such as factories. Whilst there are still hazards facing office workers, it is usually fair to say that manual work involving heavy duty machinery is more dangerous, with hazards being more numerous and potentially more damaging. For example, a worker on the assembly line at a car production plant will encounter machinery which could sever a limb or crush, noise which could cause loss of hearing, dust and fumes which could choke etc, whereas an office worker sitting at a desk is extremely unlikely to encounter such risks.
For this reason, office hazards and office health and safety is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves because it is considered low risk. However, when a thorough risk assessment is conducted, the results will show that there are indeed many hazards which can be encountered by office workers, and that sufficient controls and risk management procedures need to be in place.
Potential office hazards include:
- Electricity - In the form of electric shocks or electrical fires through faulty wiring.
- Strain injuries - Such as eye strain through using Display Screen Equipment (DSE) or Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from using computer keyboards and mice for long periods without adequate wrist support.
- Slips, trips and falls - Wet floors or items left on stairs pose a hazard.
- Manual handling - Lifting heavy items such as boxes can cause back problems if lifted incorrectly (See: Manual Handling Training).
- Conflict - Office workers dealing with the public may need training in conflict management.
- COSHH - Whilst they may not deal with chemicals used in the manufacturing process, office workers will still use certain substances which are hazardous to health and store them on the premises. The most likely of these for an office is cleaning products and printer ink toner (See: COSHH Training).
Health and Safety Risks From a Paper Shredder
A paper shredder, also frequently known as a document shredder, is a piece of equipment which will be found in most offices throughout the world. Whilst it does not have a reputation as being the most dangerous piece of equipment known to man, it can still cause a nasty injury to a person if certain care and precautions are not taken.
A paper shredder works by drawing paper through rotating cutters, with many models activating automatically when the paper is inserted into the opening. This means that loose clothing or long hair can get caught and drawn into the shredder, particularly if it is already in use and shredding paper. Precautions such as containing long hair in a hair net, tucking in loose clothing, or removing items such as ties and jewellery should always be taken.
The cutters will obviously be sharp in order to efficiently and effectively cut the paper numerous sheets at a time. Many shredders will also be capable of shredding a plastic credit card and that will require extremely sharp blades. This means that the risk of cuts and lacerations is extremely high when a person has their hand close to the cutters even when they are stationary, which will be when they remove the cover to empty the shredded paper or try and perform maintenance on the machine such as removing clogged paper which is jamming the mechanism. It is imperative that the machine is disconnected from the mains electricity supply before this is done to ensure that the sharp cutters do not start up whilst the person's hand is inside the shredder otherwise there is a risk of serious injury.
Whilst there are manual paper shredders which are powered by winding a handle, the majority run on electricity. This means that they share the same risks as other items of electrical equipment in the form of electric shocks and the potential to start fires.
The shredding of paper will also create dust/tiny fibres in the receptacle. When this is emptied the dust can be thrown into the air and breathed in by the person doing the emptying. Although unlikely to do much harm in a small dose on its own, like other COSHH dust risks over time the cumulative effects may cause harm to their health.
The NEBOSH General Certificate course will deal with general risks from various pieces of work equipment and how they can pose a threat to a person's health and safety in a place of work.
How Can a Photocopier Pose a Health and Safety Risk?
When people think of dangerous machinery which can pose a risk to health and safety they are more likely to think of a heavy piece of equipment in a factory rather than a photocopier. Whilst a photocopier may not be responsible for many workplace injuries when compared with other pieces of equipment, there are still numerous hazards and potential dangers associated with it.
For a start the photocopier will be powered by electricity, and with any piece of electrical equipment there is a risk of electrocution if it has faulty wiring or encounters water, or if an unqualified person attempts to perform maintenance on it either whilst it is still plugged into the mains socket or a build-up of static electricity is not properly discharged before contact with the parts.
Electrical machinery also has the potential to cause a fire if a spark were to ignite a nearby source of fuel in the form of flammable material, the most likely of which is probably stacks of paper which are stored next to it and intended to be used in the photocopier.
One of the most prevalent of dangers when it comes to machinery is that posed by moving parts. These can cause severe injuries if for example a person's hand was to become caught up in them or a loose item of clothing becomes entangled. Most modern photocopiers will cease to function if the access door is open, although there will still be a risk of trapping their fingers when manipulating the different parts and sections that make up a large industrial photocopier.
Large photocopiers which are run for extended periods of time in a business or academic institution are likely to get extremely hot, most especially the internal parts. Whilst protected by the access door/exterior cover, there is a risk of burns to anyone who accesses the internal parts to perform maintenance or clear a paper jam for example.
Health and Safety Courses Covering Office Hazards
Effective health and safety training, combined with a well-written health and safety policy and an in-depth risk assessment is essential for those who take the safety and welfare of their office workers seriously, and wish to reduce the likelihood of office hazards causing injury. At the BCF Group, we offer a number of health and safety training courses which focus on specific hazards such as DSE and manual handling, as well as our Office Safety course which covers the specific risks to office workers, as well as looking at relevant health and safety legislation and accident investigation for an office accident.
Delegates get the most out of these training courses when they are run as bespoke courses for a group of employees from the same company, which is tailored to their organisation's specific working practices and potential hazards. For more information and to discuss your requirements with one of our health and safety consultants, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online by clicking the "Contact" tab at the top of the page.