Identify hazards in the office – 12 simple tips

Construction sites are not the only place where occupational accidents occur. Danger that could lead to accidents also lurks in the office. Tripping and falling accidents are the most frequent and often as a result of inattention. 12 simple tips will help you to identify hazards in the office and deal with them.

Office employees take around 1,500 steps each day. The more active among us take a few thousand more. We take them automatically and without thinking. Indeed sometimes on autopilot – we feel particularly busy when we work on our smartphone emails and finish an online article on our tablet while on the move. Regardless of whether we are in the office, corridor or on the stairs, we think that walking presents no dangers. A grave error.

Every accident is one too many

Even in the supposedly safe office, more than 15,000 accidents are recorded every year.Many are the result of inattention. A raised surface between rooms, a wastepaper basket, a bag sitting next to an office table, or an open drawer can all quickly turn into a tripping hazard. All the more so when our concentration is elsewhere, and our eyes are not on the way ahead. But in fact very little is needed in order to turn the office into an accident-free zone.

Safety check: Turn your office into a safe and healthy place!

Do not leave accidents to chance. Accidents happen every day, even in offices. In particular: tripping and falling accidents. Use the FCOS Checkbox to track down the biggest hazards and make plans for the appropriate measures.

Carry out a risk evaluation even in the supposedly safe office

Each accident can be avoided following the right risk evaluation. The following 12 simple tips will help you to identify hazards and deal with them.

  1. Store heavy objects in shelving at hip height, light objects higher up and less frequently used objects lower down.
  2. Take care when lifting and carrying heavy loads to keep the back straight and hold the load as close to the body as possible as well as directly in front of it.
  3. Pushing and pulling are always better than lifting and carrying! With the appropriate cart, you can make life easier and safer.
  4. Always keep walkways and aisles free.
  5. Clean floors in sections and not at peak times. Close off areas being cleaned and always wipe up spilled liquids as quickly as possible.
  6. Exposed cable channels should be closed or clearly marked if they cannot be closed.
  7. Any uneven surfaces that cannot be avoided should be clearly marked.
  8. Machinery and cabling that have been set up provisionally can become invisible over time. Mark these clearly or tidy them away.
  9. Open drawers should always be immediately closed again.
  10. Bunched-up carpeting or raised carpet edges can lead to unfortunate accidents. Replace carpeting in good time or fix it down appropriately.
  11. Under no circumstances should office chairs be used as a climbing aid. Instead use a certified, purpose-made set of steps.
  12. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted when walking and keep your eyes open, especially on staircases.

Contribute to raising safety levels in your company!

Risk evaluation is not just something for high-risk industries. Keep your eyes open when in the office and be systematic about dealing with potential tripping hazards as well as avoiding other hazards. In doing so, you are increasing safety levels in the workplace and helping to avoid accidents.


And don’t forget: be particularly careful when in a hurry. Tripping accidents always happen at the most inopportune moment. And can have long-term effects.

Visit our chapter on accidents in the office in the FCOS Box.

With good planning, there should be no chance for tripping hazards to develop. However, if they are unavoidable, they should at least be clearly marked. You will find tips and a short explanatory video in the FCOS BOX.

1 Source: SSUV, Berufsunfälle 2007-2016

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In the seven chapters of the FCOS Box and a series of short video clips, you will find out how to improve health and safety at the office and what needs to be taken into consideration.

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FCOS Checkbox

With the FCOS Checkbox apps you can identify safety risks in the office or check to see if your workstation is set up ergonomically.

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FCOS Learning Modules

Easily accessible and entertaining, they will help you check and consolidate your knowledge of the basics in safety and health protection at work.

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