While working in an office is not generally a dangerous occupation, office accidents can and do happen occasionally. To prevent accidents at the office, employers must carry out an office safety risk assessment.
How often should an office safety risk assessment be undertaken?
According to Health & Safety Executive guidelines, an office safety risk assessment should be undertaken whenever:
- New equipment, procedures or substances are introduced and could create new hazards
- New staff join the office, as the way they do their work could necessitate training in safe working procedures
- The presence of a potential hazard is indicated by unusually high turnover of staff, unusually high volume of absences due to sickness or complaints of bullying and/or stress
An office safety risk assessment should also be carried out if an individual employee’s level of risk changes. This may, for instance, be the case if a member of staff:
- Returns to the office after a prolonged absence due to sickness
- Develops a condition that may affect his or her ability to work safely
- Is pregnant or breastfeeding and the work may pose a risk to her health and safety or that of her unborn or newly born child
Every office risk assessment made must be complete and followed up by taking the necessary steps to minimise identified risks.
Lack of or incomplete risk assessments
If your employer did not carry out a risk assessment and you were subsequently injured at work, you could be entitled to work injury compensation. You may also qualify for a work injury claim if you were injured at the office due to an incomplete risk assessment. This may, for example, happen if your employer:
- Did not take a health condition you are suffering with into consideration
- Failed to consider the potential risks of new equipment or procedures
- Overlooked some the areas within the office during the assessment
Naturally, you will also be entitled to make an office injury claim if your employer assessed potential risks, but did nothing to minimise them.
If you had an office accident in the last three years, get helpful compensation advice today by calling our Accident Advice Helpline freephone advice line. Open 24 hours every day of the year, our helpline is obligation-free and confidential. The number to call from your mobile is 0333 500 0993. If you are using a UK landline to make the call, you should dial 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: May 5, 2017
Author: Accident Advice