Prepare your safety team for their safety walkthrough with this handy list

Whether your team worked in the office all through the pandemic or is preparing to return to in-person work, there’s no better time for a thorough review of safety throughout your office than now. 

The first step in prioritizing safety for your employees is ensuring you have a full safety team in place. Key elements of a safety team and program include:

  • Overall office safety assigned to one specific person
  • A procedure for handling safety concerns
  • Regular communications from the safety team to all staff
  • Annual reviews of safety procedures with a full office walkthrough

For the annual review, use this handy checklist to ensure your team covers everything. Each category addresses specific safety needs.

Emergency Procedures
  • Emergency phone numbers clearly posted
  • First aid kits easily accessible and stocked with non-expired supplies
  • AED readily available
  • Emergency plans updated for evacuations, bomb threats, hostile person, and fire
  • At least one person trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid on-site during all working hours
Fire Safety
  • All fire extinguishers tested and certified
  • All fire alarms tested and working
Building Exits
  • Sufficient exits for prompt evacuation
  • Evacuation procedure visibly posted
  • Exits unobstructed and free of hazards
  • Exits clearly marked and visible
Stairways & Walkways
  • Stairways and walkways clear and free of hazards or barriers
  • Stairways and walkways well lit
  • Sturdy handrails in all stairwells
  • Walkways free from trip hazards such as cords or loose floor mats.
Floor Surfaces
  • All level and free from loose material, such as debris or worn carpeting
  • All floor surfaces cleaned
  • Signs available to post when floors are slippery or wet
  • All bulbs tested and working
  • All areas appropriately lit in all conditions
  • Emergency lighting in place and tested
Air Quality
  • Air free from asbestos, microorganisms, dust, fumes or other contaminants
  • Humidity kept within the standard range
  • Smoking limited to a separate designated and well-ventilated area
  • Are photocopy machines in a separate area with proper ventilation?
Disinfecting, Sanitation & Disease Prevention
  • Washrooms, food preparation and eating areas cleaned and sanitized regularly
  • Washrooms, food preparation and eating areas stocked with soap, disposable towels and/or hand air dryers
  • Hand sanitizer stations and new, disposable masks placed by all entrances/exits
  • Hand sanitizer stations and new, disposable masks placed in all shared spaces (meeting rooms, etc.)
  • Step-ladders or stools placed in storage areas to reach higher shelves
  • Storage shelves loaded within their rated capacity
  • Heavy items stored on bottom shelves
  • Passageways and workspaces in storage area clear of obstructions
  • Materials neatly and safely stored
  • Staff trained in proper lifting techniques
Hazardous Materials
  • All products with hazardous chemicals or materials clearly labeled
  • Corresponding material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each product
  • Workers trained in safe-use of all hazardous products
  • Staff member with HazCom training present during all working hours
  • Extension cords used appropriately
  • Electrical appliances in good condition and properly grounded
  • Sufficient outlets available to avoid circuit overload
Office Equipment & Workspaces
  • All chairs in good condition
  • Furniture free from sharp edges and splinter
  • Adjustable for proper ergonomics (screen height, chair height, keyboard position, etc.)
  • Workspaces uncluttered with adequate storage

Certain businesses, like manufacturing facilities, may need to add other elements to their safety reviews but this checklist can be a good guide to get you started. As with any safety protocol, a regular review of things should always be done. Here’s to staying safe and working well in 2021!

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