Most businesses and industries have an office environment. The most obvious safety issue is ergonomics and sitting at a desk correctly, but there are other hazards that need to be managed, such as hazardous chemicals, manual tasks, electrical hazards and more.
If you’re a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), you must manage the risks associated with office work. This includes by providing:
- a safe work environment
- safe systems of work
- equipment and substances in a safe condition
- the information, instruction, training and supervision that your workers need to work safely.
Identify hazards in your office by:
- consulting with managers and workers about the work that they do and the equipment and chemicals they use
- reviewing workplace incident data and human resource data.
Workers must take reasonable care for their own safety and health, and make sure they don’t adversely affect the health or safety of others.
If you’re a worker, you must:
- follow any reasonable directions given by your employer/manager to reduce that will reduce your risk of injury. This includes policies and safe work procedures
- ensure your own safety and that of your workmates
- report any office hazards, incidents and near misses to your employer/manager.
Resources and solutions
Creating healthy and safe computer work: WorkCover Queensland (external link) Getting your office space to work for you. Includes animated videos.
Officewise: A guide to health and safety in the office handbook WorkSafe Victoria (external link) Use a risk management approach to promote health and safety in offices.
Safe and healthy virtual office: Comcare (external link) Interactive tool that highlights some of the common hazards associated with an office based environment.