Avoiding obstructions in walkways which could be an issue especially if there should ever be a fire and someone needs to leave fast!
Floors being free from loose tiles
Make this checklist part of a process, if you want to make sure the outcomes are taken seriously and really do lead to having a a safer working environment in the office.
Make it work for you
Train a few people on how to use this list for inspections and what to look for. Assign different people to perform the checks – a fresh pair of eyes may just notice something which you have missed for some time.
Transfer all aspects that require improvement actions after the inspection onto an action list. Monitor closure and completion of each action item until they are all done.
Keep copies of your completed inspection checklist and your completed action lists. You never know when having this documentation may be useful to show your due diligence in keeping your workplace safe for employees.
Look for aspects that are often noted during inspections and create an awareness program to make sure everyone in your office knows how to avoid a situation which could lead to an injury in the office.
You can also think of making it fun – should the person with the best workspace get a special gift to encourage others to pay more attention to keeping their workspace safe?
The starter list file is below if you want do have your own copy to modify.
It may be a while before you are back at the office and this may be the best time to plan your Office Safety Program. This can help you to be ready for when you are scheduled to return to the office. You may want to add some more specific items related to covid19 too. Why not use this time to review the checklist template above and start drafting one that is right for you?
I often come across HR Managers in smaller to mid-sized companies who have a few areas of responsibility outside of HR like for example Office Safety and Facilities. They are often expected to maintain a high level of compliance with constantly changing laws and this can become an unnerving task for some. The free resource that I am sharing today is a general Office Safety booklet. It covers several topics relating to the office environment to create more awareness among employees of the do’s and don’ts around staying safe in the office environment.
You can either print it double-sided from the pdf document and make it available to employees as a booklet or you can send them the electronic document to review if they have just joined the company. It is quite easy to turn the booklet into an orientation and discussion session if you want to use it in that way.
This booklet is not based on any certified course so it is not a replacement for anyone who needs to undergo a formal exam to be certified in some aspect of safety. It simply helps you, as the HR Manager who has to cover Office Safety, to communicate some basic safety aspects to employees and other visitors to your office who may be working there for a period of time.
This booklet could also form the basis for an annual office safety check. Depending on expectations from management or compliance requirements you may need to perform an office safety check once per year. Using this booklet you can easily create a list of items to check based on the various categories of topics covered. For example, you can check how many times an accident or incident happened or almost happened per year based on history. Or you can check how people are working or storing items in the working area – are you seeing tripping or falling hazards?
Let me know if you are getting stuck with the creation of a safety checklist from the booklet!
If your company has an office environment next to a manufacturing or production facility this booklet would not cover several topics that a facility like that would require. There are many more rules around production or manufacturing environments, which are not necessarily covered in this booklet. Examples include how to handle dangerous materials and wearing safety equipment for certain activities. I recommend that you contact an expert in safety for your industry to help you create the right training and awareness materials for an industrial application.
I believe this booklet offers a good start in getting safety principles communicated to office employees and I also recommend that you look for more ways to strengthen your office safety program.
Make sure you can tell employees where to assemble outside during a fire drill and how they would recognize the alarm to trigger an evacuation. Also, make sure they know which routes to follow for an evacuation.
Ensure you have a First Aid box that is well-stocked to take care of small incidents and cuts. Check it on a regular basis to make sure you are not running out of anything and also that nothing in there is over the use-by date.
Is there someone in your office building where your office is located who offers safety assistance – for example, if an employee had a heart attack or a bad fall? If there is not, should someone from your office get that training?
Apart from reading a booklet on safety, how can you make sure that employees think safety first in every activity they consider? This would be even more important if your company has safety or employee well-being as a value or a priority.
Small and mid-sized companies often do not have large budgets for creating office safety awareness and it is my hope that this free resource helps you cover ground that would otherwise have been a tough additional action on your HR Manager to-do-list!