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Safety Off the Roof

Heidi Ellsworth Safety Initiatives
November 18, 2019 at 6:00 a.m.

RCS Influencer Heidi J. Ellsworth says that employees working in the office also need to adhere to safety guidelines for their work environment.  

When we talk about safety, most of us think of the safety of the crews while they are working on the jobsite. We provide them with the training and the safety gear they need to be safe while working on the roof and hold weekly safety meetings and toolbox talks. It’s just as important to consider safety concerns outside of the jobsite.

Do you have a safety program for employees working inside the office? Hazards in a corporate environment are very real and it’s important to have regular education and safety checks for your office space. Here are some areas to think about when it comes to safety ‘off the roof.’

Prevent slips and falls. If you have area rugs in your office, be sure that they are properly secured in place or use non-slip grippers underneath. Mats and rugs are one of the leading causes of tripping incidents.

Storage closets. If you have shelving systems in a storage closet, it’s critical to make sure that the top of each shelf is secured to the wall. Unsecured shelving can easily tip forward causing potentially severe injuries.

Hotel safety. If you have employees who travel for work, ensure that they are prepared and aware of potential risks that come with hotel stays.

Cleaning products. Most everyday cleaners also have Safety Data Sheets that you should have available for your employees. Some cleaners, if combined, can cause toxic fumes or may even combust.

Food safety. Many employees pack their lunches and even eat at their desk. Be sure that your office refrigerator temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, that the microwave is clean and that employees understand the importance of hand washing and properly washing reusable totes and containers. If you offer coffee, clean the machine regularly.

Ergonomics. If employees are sitting at a desk all day, using a computer, encourage regular breaks to stand and move around. Wrist and hands should be exercised to avoid repetitive use injuries that can come with typing and improper wrist angles.

Take a look around your office and see where you can improve. Talk about office safety at your staff meetings. You might even consider putting together a committee to evaluate the environment and make adjustments.

Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.



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