Office Safety Training for Employees

When you think of safety training, your mind goes to factory and warehouse workers wearing hard hats and using forklifts. We can't forget safety training for office employees. I was thinking about how I always say “be careful” to my friends and family, and how that applies to my co-workers.


When they leave on a road trip, I say “be careful” as a reminder to pay special attention on those long drives through Missouri. I say “be careful” when my kids go to the local amusement park. I want them to be aware of the slippery puddles where the massive waves splash the pedestrian bridge near the rafting ride. I don’t say “be careful” to my co-workers on a daily basis but, honestly, I do want them to be careful! Since June is National Safety Awareness Month, I thought this would make an interesting spin on office safety training for employees. It’s all about prevention.


Slips, Trips, and Falls

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), slips, trips, and falls make up the largest number of cases with days away from work. OSHA has rules and regulations pertaining to slip, trip, and fall hazards. For example, OSHA requires employers to regularly inspect the workplace and address any issues they find.

Several months ago we noticed that our trade show booth shipping cases and supplies were cluttering an empty workspace. It was an eyesore and potential trip hazard. We organized a company-wide spring cleaning day. We purged empty boxes, recycled old computer equipment, and organized our storage closet to make room for our trade show supplies. It was therapeutic for everyone!

In February of 2018, we released our updated safety training courses on “Slips, Trips, and Falls” in two versions. One for employees to help them be more aware of their surroundings and maintain visibility, to not run at work (definitely not run with scissors), and to keep a neat and tidy work area. The version for managers covers many of the same topics but with a spin to keep a watchful eye out for the hidden dangers and to encourage employees to “be careful.”

Back Smarts

When you think about back smarts in the area of office safety, you likely envision mailroom employees lifting heavy boxes with those black lumbar support belts with suspenders. Yes, back smarts training would apply to them but it also applies to anyone who sits all day in front of a computer. Setting up an ergonomic workplace requires adjustments to your body positioning, desk, chairs, and even things you keep on your desk. Think about your sitting and standing posture. Does the floor support your feet or do you need a footrest?

In general, one of the best ways to care for your back is to keep yourself moving regularly and staying in good shape. We have small groups of employees that try to take walk breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This helps them to stretch out their back, get some fresh air and even builds new, cross-departmental relationships.

Anti-Harassment

An unconventional topic for office safety is harassment. The media may be fatigued from covering the celebrity offenders, but harassment and discrimination don’t seem to be going away. As HR and training professionals, it’s up to us to make efforts every day to create a safe environment and a culture that supports keeping employees safe.

Training needs to cover more than what the law requires. Everyone needs to have a basic understanding of the behavior of offenders and potential targets. What are the warning signs? What is the bystanders role? What can everyone do to support a healthy culture?

You can read more about our approach in our blog post “Compliance: Putting the ‘Human’ Back into Human Resources.”

Reinforce Office Safety Training

It’s funny how we take safety for granted. We don’t think about it until there is an incident and at that point, it’s too late. Nobody comes to work thinking they are going to start a small fire in the microwave when they forget to add water to their cup o’ noodles (real story from a co-worker). Safety needs to be more than a one-time, annual event. All employees need to be reminded about the nearest fire extinguisher and proper use.

These are just a few topics to consider when training office employees on safety. Additional topics could include electrical safety, driving safety, first aid, and much more. Sign up for a full-featured, full library, free trial of our Thinkzoom LMS to access all the courses mentioned.


Now look up from your phone or desktop and give your neck a stretch. 

 

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