Office-based business and their risk


Office safety need to be taken serious. We are so use to say that we have been doing it for years like this and nothing has happened. The question you need to ask is "WHAT IF". When you ask your self the "WHAT IF" these answers would be a step closer to assessing the risk in your company weather it is big corporate or a small business.

Let us set a the scene

The office manager carried out the risk assessment at this company, which provides consultancy services, and which leases the second storey of the office block. Eighteen staff work at the company, one is a wheelchair user. The offices contain typical office furniture and equipment. There is a staff kitchen, where drinks can be prepared and food heated, and there are toilet and washing facilities on each floor. The offices are cleaned every evening by office cleaning contractors. They store the cleaning materials in a locked cupboard. The office block is locked from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am Monday to Friday and at weekends, although 24 hour/7 days a week security cover is provided.

Although this example risk assessment is for an office-based business, it may equally be applied to any business that has office-based functions within it.

Risk Management Team

To identify the hazards, the manager need to involve a risk management team and they have the be trained and with the assistance of a occupational Health and safety consultant to take lead :

1. To Identify the hazards the risk management team will:

  • looked at history of the companies incidents and accidents to learn where hazards can occur.

  • walked around the premises

  • talked to supervisors and staff, including the member of staff who is a wheelchair user, to learn from their knowledge and experience of areas and activities, and listen to their concerns and opinions about health and safety issues in the workplace;

  • talked to the office cleaning contractors, to ensure that the cleaning activities did not pose a risk to office staff, and vice-versa;

2. The manager then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.

3 For each hazard, the manager wrote down what controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. The manager then compared these controls to the good practice guidance. Where existing controls were not considered good enough, the manager wrote down what else needed to be done to control the risk.

4 Putting the risk assessment into practice, the manager decided and recorded who was responsible for implementing the further actions and when they should be done. When each action was completed, it was ticked off and the date recorded. The manager pinned the risk assessment up in the staff room for all staff to see.

5 At an office meeting, the office manager discussed the findings with the staff and gave out copies of the risk assessment. The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if any major changes in the workplace happened.


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