·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


The Ultimate Workplace Safety Checklist for 2021

— April 14, 2021

Workplace safety is not to be disregarded and dismissed lightly, so consider these points carefully. Ensure your office is not just up to standard but a place your employees love to be in.

Workplace safety has always been a topic all business owners and managers had to carefully consider. There are regulations to abide by, but on top of that, workplace safety can significantly contribute to office productivity. Naturally, it’s always going to be a top priority for businesses.

In 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic still going strong, there are some new rules to adopt as well. Let’s explore the main areas your workplace safety practices need to cover. 

Working from Home is Here to Stay 

Even though some businesses will be returning to the office in the course of 2021, others will still mostly keep working from home. If this is the case for you as well, make sure you consider your employees’ safety while they are working from home. 

Topics to cover here include: 

  • cybersecurity, first and foremost
  • mental health
  • the importance of adjusting their workstations so that their backs and necks don’t suffer
  • the importance of regular breaks

Returning to the Office in a Covid World 

When you do decide to return to the office, another safety topic you will need to discuss with your staff is social distancing and wearing face masks. 

Not all offices will be able to accommodate social distancing measures, so face masks should be worn at all times. Other than that, you also need to consider your more vulnerable staff members who might want to keep working from home due to health concerns. 

You’ll need to have protocols in place for washing hands and disinfecting commonly used surfaces, like door handles and taps. Make sure your employees are aware of the consequences of not complying with these measures. They may be tedious, and we’re all sick of the pandemic, but they are still necessary.

Identify Potential Hazards 

Your first step, regardless of the Covid measures you need to set up, is identifying any potential hazards in your office. These include:

  • Fire hazards
  • Biological hazards
  • Air quality hazards
  • Temperature hazards
  • Electrical hazards
  • Trip and fall hazards
  • Noise hazards

Of course, depending on the kind of work you do, there might be other hazards as well. For instance, you may be using certain machines that come with their own set of safety hazards.

It’s always recommended to get a professional in to help you with the pinpointing of all of these hazards. You will certainly be able to spot some, but it will take a pro to tell you there is something wrong with your electrical installations.

Remove all the Hazards You Can 

Once the safety check has been conducted, your next step is to ensure you remove hazards. This, however, might leave some on your list. For instance, you may not be able to remove all the cords from the office space, which could result in a fall.

Image of a Fire Hazard Sign
Fire Hazard Sign; image courtesy of TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay,

Make a list of these hazards, and teach your employees how to behave around them. This will help reduce the risk of tripping, slipping, or falling. 

Provide Adequate Training 

One of the key elements of workplace safety is employee training, which will ensure everyone knows what to do in hazardous situations. 

This includes fire drills, first aid training, and so on. Some of these training sessions only need to be attended once, while others will need to involve repeat sessions, perhaps once every year or so. 

Make sure to check your local rules and regulations and the local laws regulating workplace health and safety. Of course, you can go several extra miles and do additional sessions and implement extra procedures. Just make sure you comply with what’s required first. 

Ask Your Staff for Input 

Finally, you should make it a point to ask your employees what their health and safety concerns are. You may discover they are worried about an issue that has never occurred to you. It could be something seemingly inconsequential, like the placement of the coffee machine, for example.

Consulting your staff will also open up all kinds of conversations about office ergonomics and dynamics. That’s always a great way to further improve the way you do things and to help make your office a more productive setting.

Final Thoughts 

Workplace safety is not to be disregarded and dismissed lightly, so consider these points carefully. Ensure your office is not just up to standard but a place your employees love to be in.

Join the conversation!