Risk Assessments: Why They Are Vital In The Workplace

A look at the reasons why risk assessments should be carried out on a regular basis and what problems can arise if they are not.

Health And Safety In The Workplace
We have all heard about health and safety in the workplace, but few of us realize that it doesn’t just relate to loose wires and spilled water on slippery floors. It relates to everything that a worker uses in their job daily. This applies equally to office workers and to those working in a factory environment. Environmental training is also important and now the certification and diploma course has raised the value and safety of factory environment.

Correct Furniture
One of the most important factors in the life of an office worker is the furniture they use. If someone is using a computer for seven and a half hours a day then they need to be seated correctly which involves not only a suitable chair but a correctly fitted workstation. The chair should be able to adjust the height and back support. Some chairs also offer a tension panel that gives extra support. The arms should be raised so that the worker’s arms can reach the desk without being bent upwards and they should be able to rest their wrists lightly on the desk while typing. The desk itself should be of the correct height so if someone is very tall they may need a raised desk. There should be ample space around the keyboard for other equipment and the worker should be encouraged to keep the desk as clear as possible. Documents should be placed on a document holder to prevent neck strain while the user is constantly looking down.

What To Do If Someone Raises A Complaint
Website such as Furniture at Work will help you understand the requirements if, you have complaints related to the in-appropriate furniture. Always ensure that the worker are given a risk assessment every six months. If they have an underlying health condition then measures be taken quickly. If all the above are in place then ask your employment risk assessor to visit the worker and watch them at work. You would be surprised how many complaints regarding injuries are actually caused by the people themselves and not the company as they are not complying with the advice given. Your primary obligation as an employer is to ensure that none of the equipment they are using is broken and that if specialist equipment was recommended why they are not using it.

Getting It Right
Office furniture does not need to cost a fortune. The Furniture at Work website will help you understand what is needed and what you can expect to pay. If you do have to order new furniture you should have one of your risk assessors present when it is installed. If you do this you will minimize the risk of further furniture at work complaints. Make sure that your managers are made aware of the new furniture and how it should be used; this will help maintain its correct use.

Harry Wilson is a freelance writer and qualified risk assessor who has handled furniture at work complaints in the past. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to office furniture and its correct maintenance is vital.

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