Accessibility Statement
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Safety in...

Office Premises

The following details highlight some of the hazards and risks that may exist in office premises and the steps you can take to prevent accidents. This list can be used as a starting point in assisting you to complete a risk assessment.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Most accidents occur when staff trip over trailing leads and uneven floor surfaces, slip on wet surfaces, or fall when trying to reach items e.g. by standing on chairs.

Managing the risk:

  • Fasten cables and leads securely or re-route overhead if possible.
  • Keep passageways and stairs clear and clean up spillages immediately.
  • Provide adequate lighting.
  • Provide proper step-ladders to reach anything not accessible from the ground.


  • Guillotines and paper shredders can cause cutting injuries, and staff opening photocopiers to un-jam paper or replace toners can be exposed to chemicals and hot surfaces.
  • Incorrectly loaded or overloaded filing cabinets may topple over injuring users.

Managing the risk:

  • Guards on cutters should always be in place and regularly checked and maintained.
  • Unauthorised maintenance of equipment should be prohibited.
  • Provide sufficient storage space and ensure balanced distribution of papers within cabinets. Store heavy goods at lower levels.
  • Train staff in the safe use of equipment.

Visual Display Units

Most problems are related to the arrangement of the workstation which may cause glare or reflection on screens (eyestrain) and/or lead to awkward movements (muscular fatigue)

Managing the risk:

  • Assess individual workstations with particular reference to lighting and the adjustability and general layout of chairs, keyboards, screens and work documents.
  • Provide staff with information, instruction and training.

Manual Handling

Lifting and moving paper supplies or items of office furniture can cause back injuries or muscular strain.

Managing the risk:

  • Avoid lifting items that are too heavy or bulky - use a trolley or castors where possible.
  • Train staff in proper lifting techniques.

Violence towards Staff

Theft of cash or computer equipment, or dealing with the public may expose staff to a risk of violence.

Managing the risk:

  • Consider using CCTV, panic alarms and other security measures.
  • Try to avoid lone working in 'at risk' situations.
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