Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment. As well as a moral duty - it makes business sense.
One way that management try to emphasise safety is to insist on a tidy and clean workplace. Clutter tends to reflect a certain lackadaisical attitude towards safety.
In an obviously dangerous place such as a commercial kitchen with lots of sharp knives, burning stoves etc or an industrial tool shop with heavy machinery, safety procedures are obvious to everyone.
On the other hand, 'safe' environments such as an office can also be dangerous if basic steps are not taken to avoid accidents. These include
- All wires and cables should be secured out of the way to ensure that no one can trip over them or accidentally pull them out of the equipment.
Risk of fire or electrocution
- Electrical sockets should not be overloaded because they can overheat.
- Electrical equipment should be safety tested at least once a year
- Fire extinguishers should be available, including specialist ones to deal with electrical fires
- Fire exits should be clearly marked and free from clutter
Equipment and the environment
- There should be adequate space around desks so that people can move without banging into furniture
- Bags and obstacles should be stored out of the way so that people can't trip over them
- Desks should be strong enough to support computers and equipment
- Heating and ventilation should be suitable for the working environment
Food and drink
- Food and drink should not be consumed at the computer because spillages could result in shorting of the electrical components
- Crumbs lodged under the keyboard can cause individual keys to be difficult to press
- Crumbs in and around the keyboard are unhygienic and could encourage vermin
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Workplace Safety
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