Common Workplace Hazards for Office Workers

Workplace hazardsThere are many workplace hazards that can be found around the typical Australian office. Poor posture when working at a computer along with excessive time spent in an office chair can cause physical injury to an employee’s arms, neck and shoulders. Eye strain is another commonly reported injury. Computers also pose a threat in the form of electric shocks. Employees when using computers are always at risk of electrical fault occurring that may result in fires or burns to the skin. Furthermore, power cords needed to keep computers powered on are able to be tripped over, causing twisted ankles or fractures.

Employees that work with other types of office equipment such as photocopiers and printers present the risk of exposure to printer toner which can cause irritation or damage to the eyes and skin. These equipment types, along with fax machines and other peripheral devices, can be workplace hazards that have potential to give anyone an electric shock. OH&S regulations work to minimise these risks by ensuring that machines such as photocopiers are located in well-ventilated places. Machines are also consistently checked to be safe for use by having regular test and tagging procedures completed.

Many workplace hazards also stem from the use of paper shredders, guillotines and laminators when performing regular office duties. These, like electrical equipment, can also cause harm if not handled correctly. They contain sharp edges, hot surfaces as well as pinch points that across the country have resulted in several cuts and minor physical injuries to employees. To avoid these mishaps, a workplace should ensure quality training is provided to all office workers who must use them, making sure to remind all employees that loose clothes and jewellery can get caught in this equipment.

Offices hazards in Australia have also included such things as items falling of shelved surfaces onto nearby employees. This can be prevented by allowing for adequate storage spaces to ensure shelves are not over-filled to raise the risk of injury.