Surprising Hazards Around the Office

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Are offices inherently safe? Many Americans mistakenly assume that typical office environments pose few hazards to employees’ safety and health. That is not true. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), “The high volume of electrical equipment in a typical office can expose workers to serious electrical hazards, including shocks, burns and fire.” Follow these important safety guidelines to avoid disaster at work:

Correctly and Safely Routing Electrical Cords

Workers often rely on computers, printers, scanners, telephones, shredders, electric pencil sharpeners, and more. In other words, operating a large volume of computer equipment in a cramped or limited space can easily become a hazard. Keep offices as safe as possible; never run electrical cords along the floor, under doors, or through windows and ceilings. Install desk grommets to direct electrical cords away from blunt desk and cabinet edges. Hard plastic or rubber grommets prevent cords from bending, breaking, and general wear. Manufacturers offer a number of different rubber grommet sizes; some varieties require little effort to install and quickly snap into place.

Employees should regularly inspect any electrical wiring for evidence of physical wear. Any frayed or damaged cords should be immediately discarded.

Pay An Electrician Now, Save Workers’ Compensation Costs Later

ESFI President Brett Brenner states, “Electrical accidents that occur in an office environment are usually a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment -… specifically, extension cords, power strips and surge protectors.” Crowding outlets — and using power cords and extension cords too freely — significantly increases electrical and fire hazards. Instead of relying on limited outlets, employers are much better off paying a one-time fee for an electrician or professional to install additional outlets.

Like any other environment, offices pose serious safety hazards. Keep your office job safe by keeping cords off the floor, installing convenient desk grommets, and ditching unreliable extension cords.

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