Workplace health and safety pitfalls can be costly, both to employee wellbeing and to your budget if an incident leaves you liable.

Prevent avoidable accidents by keeping an eye out for the following ten often-overlooked hazards which lurk in almost every office environment.

  1. Clear up clutter
    Whether it’s boxes, files and overflowing paperwork or bags and personal effects, maintain a clear-floor policy to avoid trips and falls.
  2. Don’t use office chairs as stepladders
    It’s tempting to put up the Christmas decs by hopping onto your rolling wheelie chair – but think twice and get the stepladder out.
  3. Balance your books
    Filing cabinets with too many open drawers, or badly-stacked shelving units, could all tip over and strike a worker. Attach them to walls and floors where possible.
  4. Don’t go power mad
    Though your office is likely to be brimming with equipment, don’t overload sockets or plug extension leads into each other, and ensure any you do use have circuit breakers.
  5. Out of sight
    Tidy away dangling telephone wires and other cables in cable protectors, or install under-floor outlets, to avoid trip hazards.
  6. An unwelcome surprise
    Never leave filing cabinet drawers or cupboards open, as they could give an unsuspecting employee a nasty bang on the head.
  7. Light up the room
    Changing a blown lightbulb can be the last thing on your to-do list. But inadequate lighting is a major cause of bumps and trips, so make sure your replace it quickly. 
  8. Don’t hang loose
    Tie back long hair, secure loose clothes and remove dangling jewellery before using office equipment including shredders, photocopiers and paper cutters. 
  9. Keep your feet on the floor
    It might sound strange, but back, neck and other health injuries come from sitting badly at your desk. Providing adjustable chairs and desks can help.
  10. Education, education, education

Make sure everybody in your office is familiar with the location of fire exits, assembly point and any other safety essentials like fire blankets. 


Everybody in the business has a part to play in Health and Safety, carrying out risk assessments whenever appropriate and keeping up-to-date records. Back up your best practice with comprehensive Public and Employers’ Liability covers, arranged with efficiency and accuracy by Howard Insurance Services.