Whilst it is obviously true that office work is safer than working in construction or in a warehouse, health and safety training in an office is still required as employers have a duty to protect staff whilst at work even if the risks aren’t that obvious. Health and Safety training in an office is needed as health can be affected over a long term period and results in cumulative issues rather than a single event e.g. repetitive strain injury or back problems.
Sitting down all day can be hazardous to your health! As ridiculous as it sounds, it appears to be true as the human body was not designed to be as static as we have now become and people are being injured from being inactive. Unfortunately as a business owner you now have a legal duty to provide training and reduce the risks for those sitting down whilst at work. Fortunately it is not that difficult and is relatively simple to implement.
For staff working on Display Screen Equipment you need to assess risks and provide training. This can be achieved by completed a Display Screen Equipment assessment that can be either manual e.g. on paper and personal interaction or via an online method. There are now more laptop and smartphone users than every before and the overall affects of using this equipment is potential ill health in later life due to poor posture and constant use of parts of the body that were not designed to be used for. A Display Screen Equipment assessment won’t solve all the issues but will show that you have met your legal obligation.
The well known and more obvious training courses are first aid and fire marshals which are widely accepted as standard requirements. Although these are not often required it is a legal duty to make sure they are in place and getting volunteers for those roles is not usually such an issue.
Although no formal training exists in housekeeping it is an area that contributes too many preventable accidents. The training required would be in the form of workplace inspections that identify issues and gets them resolved. It is worth thinking about getting staff locally to complete them as they have more involvement and this is more hands on training than just getting them to tidy up without understanding why.
Manual handling is not generally seen as required in an office setting but it could be worth considering depending on the risks in place. Office staff who move items on an occasional basis are potentially at greater risk as they don’t have enough practice and moving boxes of paper, water bottles etc can present a risk that you need to review. It may not be practical to remove those risks so an alternative is to provide training on how to do this safely. It is likely a manual handling course for office staff is seen as not required, but remember you are organising it to help protect yourself against someone who moves an item and is then injured. You can’t remove all the risks, but you can protect yourself against possible breaches of the legislation.