If you have an office, the last thing you want is to have an employee hurt themselves.
Not only is that bad for the employee, but you could be in breach of your obligations as an employer to provide a safe working environment for your employees.
As much as we’d like to tell you all about the different ways to help make your office safe, we’re electricians first and foremost so we’re going to give you a bunch of electrical safety tips for the office instead.
1. Don’t overload power points
Seriously, we see this one all the time. A lot of offices only have a few power points, but a whole lot of devices.
What usually happens is that people use double adapters or power boards to get their devices running which is normally fine.
Times it isn’t fine:
- When you daisy chain double adapters or power boards (e.g. plug one double adapter into another)
- When you have really power hungry devices that need a lot more power than the others
- When your power grid can’t handle that many devices
- When you use cheap quality adapters
What can happen? Well, the most harmless is your power goes out. The least harmless is your devices short circuit and/or start an electrical fire.
If you don’t have enough power points in your office, get more installed.
2. Keep walkways clear of CABLES
Please. Please please please.
Do NOT have cables running across an area where people could be walking.
Problem 1 is that it’s a trip hazard (I hope your workers comp policy is up to date).
Problem 2 is that when people do eventually trip, they can rip out the cable causing untold damage to devices, power points, etc.
We see it happen all the time, especially in open plan offices or offices that have desks and computers away from the walls.
Sometimes people try tape down the cables, which is a good effort on their part but doesn’t last long.
Things we usually end up doing to help is either have the cable run under the floor (if it’s possible – isn’t always an option), use cable covers instead of tape (not as good looking but WAY safer and still looks better than tape), or install a services pole where the desks are and run the cable through the ceiling down the pole.
The best approach will depend on the office itself, so usually a good idea to get the office checked out before trying any specific solution.
3. Warning labels are important
Short and sweet: electrical items need to have appropriate warning signs. If they don’t and someone gets hurt, you get sued.
4. Test your machines regularly
Most people in the industrial industry will do this already, but regular testing of your machines, equipment, and electrical systems is a massive recommendation from us.
Not only does it help you find faults before something goes wrong, it can often identify areas where you are leaking power due to a device running inefficiently. You can easily see if a tap is leaking water, but it’s impossible to see if a device is leaking power.
5. Have appropriate safety gear
Finally, make sure you have the appropriate safety gear in the office.
At the very least make sure you have fire extinguishers that can handle electrical fires, and first aid kits.
Anything else will depend on your team and office layout.
You really don’t want a situation where something goes wrong (eg. a small electrical fire breaks out) and you can’t do anything except wait for help.
These tips should help you keep your office safe.
Of course, if you need a really good commercial electrician for your office, call us!