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There are many office hazards, including some that can be easily overlooked. Here are 10 of the most common but overlooked hazards present in your office.

National Safety Month: 10 Common (But Overlooked) Office Hazards

You take pride in your office space. You work diligently to identify and remove hazards from it. Yet, you may inadvertently overlook several common office hazards.


Your work environment impacts your productivity — if you can work safely, you can be productive, too. But, office hazards make it difficult to safely complete work and can cause on-the-job accidents and injuries.

Office hazards are serious problems, and they need to be treated accordingly. If you keep an eye out for office hazards, you can quickly identify and address them. Best of all, you can help your colleagues detect and remove office hazards — including hazards that are sometimes overlooked.


Here are a few of the most common (but overlooked) office hazards, and how to address them.

1. Slips and Falls

To limit the risk of slips and falls, remove wires from areas near your workspace where there is heavy foot traffic. You should also use a ladder — not your desk or a table — any time you need to reach office items high up on shelves.

2. Collisions

To lower the risk of collisions, keep your workspace neat and tidy. Remove boxes of files and other clutter from around your desk; otherwise, these issues may create tripping hazards. You should also keep desk drawers closed any time you are not using them.

3. Improper Use of Equipment

Use chairs, desks, and other office equipment for their intended purpose only. Inspect your office equipment regularly; if you identify any defects, notify your manager so the equipment can be repaired or replaced.

4. Lifting and Stacking

Store boxes and other office materials in a designated area. Ensure all office materials are easily accessible to authorized users, which helps minimize the risk that you or other employees will need to lift or stack heavy office items.

5. Poor Ergonomics

Take regular breaks to avoid staying sedentary for too long, as this can increase the risk of bone pain and muscle soreness. If possible, use a standing desk or other ergonomically friendly office equipment to help you stay healthy and productive throughout the work day.

6. Inferior Lighting

Inferior lighting can conceal office hazards, so you should encourage your manager to set up sufficient lighting in hallways, storage rooms, and other areas that may be poorly lit. In addition, if you spend most of your work day in front of a computer screen, try to take 10 minutes away from your screen every hour to lower your risk of vision problems.

7. Noise Pollution

If you feel your workspace is too loud, let your manager know so he or she can investigate the issue and find solutions. In the meantime, you can wear noise-canceling headphones while you work. And if you listen to music while you work, you should wear headphones to avoid distracting other employees.

8. Fire Hazards

Turn off the stove, microwave, oven, and other equipment in your office kitchen or break room that can potentially cause a fire any time they’re not in use. Any materials that are combustible should be stored safely as well. Also, fire extinguishers should be kept at designated spots throughout your office — and you need to know where these extinguishers are located at all times.

9. Emergency Exits

Keep emergency exits free of clutter. Clearly mark all emergency exits, and there should be multiple emergency exits across your office.

10. Environmental Toxins

If you can, open a window to remove environmental toxins from cleaning chemicals, copier toner, and other substances from your office space. And if you experience any difficulty breathing due to environmental toxins, let your manager know immediately.


I hope the aforementioned list helps you take care of office hazards that may have previously gone unnoticed. If you need further assistance, Headfarmer may be able to help.

At Headfarmer, we connect job seekers with some of the top finance and technology companies in the greater Phoenix area. Plus, we can help you find a role where you can work in a safe, productive office with like-minded professionals. To learn more, please reach out.


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