Office and work environment safety
Learn about how you can manage and control hazards in the office and the general work environment.
As a staff member, you may sometimes face hazards in office environments. These hazards are generally considered low risk but can result in harm. In many cases, they can also be prevented.
Using a computer on a daily basis for work is normal and often vital for carrying out duties. Because of this, many hours can be spent in front of the computer. This can result in discomfort, pain and possible injury.
Ensuring your computer workstation is set up properly is important in preventing harm, so whenever you are supplied with new equipment (e.g. desk, chair, monitor) you should follow this guide:
A preventative measure to ensure that we keep healthy and safe while we are at work and to avoid developing any pain or discomfort that could lead to injury.
Digital ergonomics is focused on you as an individual. You are the reference point for designing a safe, healthy and usable workstation.
Read more: Digital ergonomics
Are you working at home?
If you are working from home, you need to be sure that your home working environment and workstation area is as comfortable and safe as possible.
Learn some tips on how to make your home office workstation comfortable.
Are you feeling pain and discomfort?
If the answer is yes and you want to visit a treatment provider, there are steps you need to follow.
Learn more: Injury management.
Office work environment
Injuries from slips, trips and falls, lifting and carrying heavy loads, and poor equipment design are just some of the ways office workers can be harmed at work.
We must always eliminate the risk where we’re reasonably able to. Where we’re not reasonably able to, then we need to consider what we can do to minimise the risk.
There is some good guidance on office-based risks at Worksafe NZ.
Additionally, ACC's HabitAtWork tool promotes self-help and problem-solving for preventing and managing discomfort, pain and injury. Look now: HabitAtWork
Office risk assessment
Risk assessment template
Get the risk assessment template and learn more about risk assessments in our dedicated section.
Look now: Template and assessment information
Example risk assessment
Also useful is this example risk assessment that can be used to help identify and control the risks in your office or other low-risk workplace.
You should keep your workplace nice and tidy, and there is a checklist you can use to conduct a detailed annual inspection.
This will ensure that all of the controls you have put in place are still effective in preventing harm and that your workplace is still comfortable and hygienic.
Last Updated: Sep 2021
Next Review: Sep 2024
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing