Would you know what to do if your colleague tripped in the office and sprained their ankle? Or if that client visiting from Brussels collapsed unexpectedly – would you recognise the symptoms of a heart attack? Do you know who the emergency contact is for the person sitting at the next desk?

5 Top Tips For a Safer Office - it only takes a few minutes to prevent injuries in the workplace
5 Top Tips For a Safer Office – it only takes a few minutes to prevent injuries in the workplace

If you haven’t made your New Year resolutions yet, then start now with by following these 5 top tips for a safer, healthier workplace.

1. Know Thy Neighbour Take 5 minutes to go around your office and make a note of each person’s emergency contact and any health issues they have e.g. Asthma, diabetes, severe allergies. Keep this in your office first aid box for reference in an emergency. 2. Let There Be Light Where possible ensure that there is adequate natural light in the workplace. Sufficient artificial light should be provided everywhere else. 3. Sign Language Put a sign on anything that could be classed as hazardous. You know, that small step you all trip up, that window that swings inwards instead of out or that low doorway that’s got a dent in it from all the heads it’s hit! If the hazard can’t be avoided at least injury can be prevented with adequate warning! 4. Make Room Many offices tend to become strewn with all manner of paraphernalia; boxes of paper for the printer, recycling ready to be collected, spare shoes poking out from under the desk, people’s bags and sports kits for that other New Year resolution of going to the gym after work! Where possible remove obstructions to avoid trips and falls, provide staff storage or designate a spare corner for bags and shoes. Make sure that all stairs and walkways are clear form loose wires and unnecessary boxes. Where obstructions can’t be avoided provide a barrier or a warning sign to avoid injuries. 5.  Are you sitting comfortably? If you spend most of your working day at your desk on your computer, the following steps can mean the difference between a comfortable working day and unnecessary back pain: – Make sure your chair supports your lower back – Ensure your chair is at the right height for you, your feet should be flat on the ground and your arms should rest comfortably on the desk. – Take regular breaks, get up and stretch – Vary your tasks to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

For more information on how to keep your work place safe, or about manual handling and first aid training see the Irish Red Cross website www.redcross.ie/first-aid-training or call 1890 502 502.