An office might not seem like a dangerous environment, but it’s important to keep all communal areas safe. Faulty appliances, hot water and slippery surfaces can lead to injury so keep track of your property with asset tags and make sure all areas are well-maintained.
Here are five ways to safeguard your office kitchen:
Carry out a risk assessment
Employers are required by law to provide a carefully-managed working environment. It’s therefore essential to carry out a risk assessment of the kitchen area (and the rest of your premises) and note down any hazards. Once you’ve examined all equipment and checked all carpets, floors, walls and such, you must take steps to improve conditions. Don’t delay getting things fixed as you might end up with a lawsuit on your hands!
Provide the relevant signs
The Health & Safety (Signs and Signals) regulations 1996 states that signage must be used to protect against danger. So if there’s a large step leading into the eating area, or the water’s particularly hot – you must make people aware. Buy the relevant signage online or from any reputable DIY store and label your office appropriately. Position the signs were people can see them and ensure they carefully highlight the hazard.
Keep a first aid kit nearby
A spilt cup of tea can cause painful burns, so it’s best to be prepared. Keep a first aid kit nearby and make sure you’ve got adequate and appropriate supplies. Fill your box with plasters, eyewash, triangular bandages, dressings and disposable gloves and keep all safety equipment in a convenient place. If the elected first aiders feel an injury is too serious to treat onsite, call an ambulance as soon as possible. Ensure the injured/ill person is kept warm and comfortable and wait for a medical team to arrive.
A messy kitchen can increase the chance of an accident, so always tidy up. Ask all staff members to put their plates in the dishwasher and employ a cleaner to wipe down surfaces and take care of the tougher jobs. Ensure all chairs are stored away neatly and don’t leave anything on the floor – as bags, coats, paperwork and boxes can become tripping hazards.
Protect your equipment
As well as looking after employees, it’s also wise to safeguard your property. If your office kitchen’s full of high-tech cooking equipment place an asset tag on each electrical item. These will help keep track of your equipment and should deter thieves from stealing your belongings. Small businesses are regularly broken into, so it’s wise to do all you can to prevent your property from being stolen.
Providing a safe, well-managed kitchen should keep everyone safe and will help staff enjoy their lunch breaks.