Safety in the office may seem like a non-issue to many women. Not many would suspect, for instance, a copy machine or excessively-loud telephone of being dangerous. An ogling co-worker, whether it’s that bag-of-bones from accounting or a sleazy boss in the corner office, is often given the “harmless” tag as well. However, safety in the office is anything but a non-issue, and being aware of potential hazards should be a top priority for any female office worker.
When it comes to safety in the office, common hazards such as ventilation, lighting and noise can lead to major problems. Printing or copy machines often release particulates and/or gases into the air, so you need to make sure that adequate ventilation is in place. A good system of ventilation will also provide a more comfortable work environment, which can easily result in more productivity. Office machines and ventilation systems should also be checked regularly to ensure they are in good working order.
Aside from contributing to accidents, poor lighting can also cause general eyestrain as well as more serious conditions like double-vision. In order to prevent these disasters, make sure your employer is performing regular maintenance on its lighting system. Simply changing a light bulb or two can often be the difference between safety in the office and a trip to the eye doctor, or, worse yet, the hospital.
Anyone that’s ever worked in a fast-paced environment knows that noise can be a problem, but can it really affect safety in the office? You betcha it can. Screaming telephones, computers, high-speed printers and loud-mouthed co-workers all cause tension and stress, damage the hearing, and are just plain annoying. In order to control noise, place your office machines in an enclosed space, turn the volume down on the telephones, and ask your neighbors to try speaking with their “six-inch voices.”
Finally, ladies, don’t allow your safety in the office to be compromised by some jerk that enjoys making rude comments or patting you on the behind. This type of behavior is unacceptable, and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. If you experience any form of sexual harassment in the office, don’t be afraid to report it. Allowing the creep to get away with it would be nothing less than a downright travesty. If he’s married, à la Tiger Woods, I also suggest doing everything you can to get word to his wife.
Other steps that can be taken to improve safety in the office include keeping a first aid kit on hand, making sure drawers remain closed, watching out for slippery surfaces and not leaning back in your chair.