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What's new - Health and Safety in the Office Environment?

Posted by Richard Forster on 4 May 2016

So you thought you were safe and healthy because you work in an office environment? Well, maybe it is time to think again!

Both Safe Work Australia and WorkSafe Victoria have been busy on the publications front on issues that may affect office workers. While working in an office may seem relatively safe, there are many injuries that can occur in this environment.

Two main topics of concern would include the risks faced by sedentary workers and work-related stress.

For comprehensive guidance on the topic of sedentary work (evidence on an emergent work health and safety issue) please refer to the following link 

Some of the key messages covered in this report are as follows:

  • Occupational sitting exposure is common, probably increasing, and contributes a large proportion of overall sedentary exposure for many workers.
  • Excessive sitting is consistently associated with markers of poor health.
  • Early evidence suggests occupational interventions targeting sitting reduction can substantially reduce occupational sitting, at least in office workplaces.
  •  A rapidly growing evidence base, increasing public awareness, widespread exposure and growing advice from various authorities suggest it is time to consider addressing the growing hazard of occupational sitting.

For the latest guidebook on preventing and managing work-related stress please refer to the following link

The guidebook focusses comprehensively on:

  • organisational factors
  • environmental factors
  • individual factors

It also provides practical advice on early intervention what managers need to know.

Due to a raised awareness of the hazards and risks faced by office workers, HAZCON is pleased to announce a new training course - Health and Safety in the Office Environment.

The course material covers a range of relevant topics:

  • What does the law say (a brief guide to relevant legislation)?
  • Duty holders (who does what and how)?
  • Consultation (talking is key, getting the message across)
  • Identifying hazards in office environments (what causes harm and how)?
  • Assessing and controlling risks (turning uncontrolled hazards into controlled risks)

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This course is very interactive, featuring a number of activities used to reinforce the learnings and can be adapted to include your policy and procedures, where relevant. It utilises the latest guidance from the regulator and SafeWorkAustralia. Some of the specific keys areas that are considered include

  • Issue resolution
  • Manual handling and ergonomics
  • Plant and equipment
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Working environment
  • Psychological harm
  • Noise
  • Chemicals
  • Fall from heights
  • Storage/housekeeping
  • Electricity and
  • Emergencies

If you would like further information relating to this training course specifically, or on topics related to office safety in general then please contact Richard Forster, Principal HSE Consultant richard.forster@hazcon.com.au or

Contact us in the office

Author: Richard Forster
Tags: Richard Forster Peter Attwood Ian Good

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