As part of Work Safe Week (October 23-27), taking some time out for a stretch and to look at potential office hazards is a good investment for workers and employers alike.
Stretching exercises help relax muscles which have been working, and move those which have been in a fixed position.
Even getting up for 20 or 30 seconds to pick up papers from the photocopier or to get some water is a way to change posture and give muscles a chance to recover.
WorkSafe advises that as part of Work Safe Week to take some time to look at safety issues in consultation with employees or workmates then develop a plan to eliminate those hazards.
Sitting at poorly set-up desks for extended periods, falls from step-ladders, electric shocks, manual handling and the causes of stress and bullying are all issues that should paid attention to.
WorkSafe Victoria has recently re-released Officewise, a guide to health and safety in the office, to bring it in to line with current workplace health and safety laws.
The 100-page booklet identifies exercises for offices workers (p70), and outlines the management of workplace health and safety, job design, and working with computers.
According to WorkSafe, the effects of poor workplace safety can be seen in short or long term-term absences, high rates of employee turnover and stress.
By ensuring the work environment is properly designed, that people have the right equipment and a clear understanding of their job, workplaces considered low risk can be a lot safer.