As a company owner, you are responsible for maintaining the safety of your employees at work. That means ensuring their office environment is free of potential safety hazards. It’s also your duty to make sure your workers know what to do in an emergency.
If there’s a fire at your office will your staff know what to do? Or will they just panic? Obviously you don’t want the latter to happen. But you have the power to make sure the former is possible. The following tips will help you and your staff minimise risk and deal with emergencies:
Reduce hazard risks in the workplace
Prevention is better than the cure, as they say. It’s crucial that you and your staff maintain a safe working environment for all. That means reducing the risk of hazards where you all work.
I recommend carrying out a regular risk assessment. Check for problems such as trip and slip hazards, and faulty wiring and plumbing. If you identify any issues, get them seen to immediately.
You should also give your staff the proper training to keep their workspaces clean and tidy. A messy workstation increases health and safety risks!
Ensure fire escapes are visible
If a fire breaks out in your office, where can people go to escape the building? By law, all premises must have fire escapes. And they should all be clearly marked too.
Emergency exit doors should have illuminated signs above them. Make sure an exit light testing services firm checks them out on a regular basis. If there’s smoke in the office, people need to easily locate their fire exit points!
Ensure adequate provision of firefighting equipment
It makes sense to have a few fire extinguishers available for employees to use. That way, they can control the spread of a fire before it gets out of control.
The ones you get should be no more than 30 metres away from where everyone works. It’s also crucial they get tested to ensure they are in good working order.
A fire alarm system is also a must. In an emergency, anyone can activate the alarm so that people can exit the building straight away.
Train your staff on emergency procedures
When someone raises the alarm, what will everyone do? It’s important all employees follow an emergency procedure. That way, everyone can deal with an emergency in a controlled manner.
Your procedures should also dictate how people should exit the office. Once they all leave the building, a nominated person must do a “head count” to check everyone is safe.
You should document these procedures in your employee handbook.
Put control measures in place
Here’s one more tip! Sometimes emergency situations like fires occur because of unauthorised equipment getting used. You should make sure that only items tested in-house get allowed for use in the office.
What happens if employees want to use phone chargers, for example? Well, they should make sure they get approval to use them. In some places, that can mean the worker paying for an electrical test on the item.