A safe work space goes beyond what meets the eye; elements such as air temperature and quality are important elements of every healthy work environment. Based on the standards of the OSHA, there are certain requirements and specific measures that every business must follow in order to provide a proper environment for workers and customers alike. In four short decades, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety professionals and advocates, have had an impressive effect on workplace safety. For instance, since OSHA’s inception, worker injuries and illnesses went down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.3 incidents per 100 in 2014.
The HVAC System
According to the Department of Energy, the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system usually operate at full capacity 15 to 20 years. However, if the system is not maintained in a proper way, it could easily cause expensive issues. You see, if this system fails, company’s sales may be affected as well, because if customers are not feeling comfortable, they could easily be turned off by the conditions and they may even decide never to come back. Therefore, it is crucial to have regular system checkups, in order to ensure comfort inside the building all year round.
Exhaust Fans and Thermostats
Moisture and heat both play a large role in the development of mold and the existence of strong odors. Since exhaust fans greatly improve sanitary conditions, they are especially important in bathrooms and kitchens,. They also help dust accumulation in the air due to the dust collector. In addition, when it comes to thermostats, it is crucial for them to read and produce comfortable room temperatures. Uncomfortable conditions can cause workers to use more energy than usually, and this is represents an obvious risk factor, because high temperatures can lead to heat strokes and in some cases, even to hypothermia.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Let’s face it – you may never know when an emergency can occur. Most people spend a good chunk of their day in the office; so logically, it has to be safe to reside in. Every smoke detector in the building should be kept up-to-date and equipped with proper batteries, which should be checked on a every few months. In the case of any emergency, the office building should also have distinct exit signs and a clear emergency exit plan. All signs should be illuminated enough for an average person to see it without any difficulties – preferably lit in green or red.
Additional Safety Measures
In addition to these three specific areas, it is also recommendable that a company holds regular safety seminars with workers. The topics of these seminars can range from emergency plans to CPR training. Some companies go even a step further with programs and plans – these can consist of health-ed classes and group efforts to stay in peak condition. Most workers appreciate these programs, especially the older workers. For years, the number of older works has been increasing, and by 2022, around 25% of all workers are expected to be 55 or older, according to Mitra Toossi, an economist with the Bureau of Labor statistics. While older workers experience fewer injuries, they take longer time to recover, and are more likely to hire a personal injury lawyer and sue the company.
Naturally, as people get older, their injuries are more likely to be severe; what might cause an ordinary sprain in a 30-year-old may cause a serious break in a 60-year-old. With these seminars, employees not only educate senior workers on safety hazards, they also impart best safety practices among young workers. The sooner they can install these practices and habits, the longer it stays with them as they move into older age.